AMA wants "doctor" reserved for physicians

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychwhy, Jun 13, 2008.

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  1. psychwhy

    psychwhy Simply disillusioned
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    Sep 15, 2006
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    A copy of the letter sent from the APA to the AMA in opposition to their proposed resolution reserving the title "doctor" to physicians, dentists, and podiatrists.


    David Lichtman, MD, Chair
    AMA Reference Committee C, Medical Education
    c/o Roger Brown, Ph.D.
    Director, Office of the House of Delegates Affairs
    American Medical Association
    515 N. State Street
    Chicago, Il 60610

    Re: American Medical Association House of Delegates Resolution 303 (A-08)
    Restricted Use of the Titles "Doctor," "Resident," and "Residency"

    Dear Dr. Lichtman,

    The American Psychological Association ("APA") strongly urges the American Medical Association House of Delegates to oppose proposed Resolution 303, which seeks to restrict the title of "doctor," "resident," and "residency" in medical settings to apply only to physicians, dentists, and podiatrists. APA is the leading scientific and professional society representing psychologists in the United States and is the world's largest association of
    doctorally trained psychologists, with more than 148,000 members and affiliates.

    Psychologists practice in all areas of health care and have a long history of using the title "doctor" in all medical settings, including hospitals, academic health centers, medical schools, clinics, and private offices.

    Use of the term "doctor" recognizes psychologists' extensive education and training as well as their positions in medical settings as supervisors and managers of patient care at the highest level. Licensed psychologists spend an average of seven years, beyond college, in education and supervised training leading to licensure to practice psychology. Psychologists complete extensive doctoral level training in the diagnosis and treatment of
    mental disorders well beyond that which physicians receive. This training includes thousands of hours of supervised practice in psychology and a year of formal internship. Most psychologists also receive supervised post-doctoral training as one of the requirements for licensure. Psychologists are licensed to practice independently, free of physician supervision, in all 50 states and are recognized as independent practitioners by state and federal programs, including by Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Psychologists serve on the medical staffs of hundreds of hospitals, supervise treatment teams, and hold senior management positions at medical facilities. Psychologists are also routinely referred to as "doctor" in European and other

    Psychologists who receive training in a specialty practice area are also referred to as "residents." They train in residencies housed in academic health centers, medical schools and other medical settings. These programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association, which is recognized as an accreditation agency by both the U.S. Department
    of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

    Proposed Resolution 303 would only confuse patients, who have used the word "doctor" to refer to psychologists in medical and mental health settings for decades. The term recognizes psychologists' extensive education and training and their high-level, independent management of patient care. APA strongly urges the American Medical Association House of Delegates to oppose Resolution 303.

    Please feel free to contact Maureen Testoni at 202-336-5892 if you have any questions.


    Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D.
    APA President

    Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D.
    Chief Executive Officer
  2. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
    Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
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