Answer me, elitists! I write for our benefit, not just mine!
This is poor form, but I will answer anyway.
I would argue that although it would provide certain advantages in understanding how a medication would affect behavior and possibly cognition, having this knowledege would not neccacarily make you a better neuropsychologist in practice. Knowledge of the behavioral aspects of pharm (ie., knowing which drugs have the potential to affect cogntion) is very important and I think npsychs are actually pretty well trained in this already. As the previous poster mentioned, a basic class in pharm that foucses heavily on the behavioral and cognitive aspects of meds is standard in any clinical psych doctoral program. However, the knowledge neccasary for prescribing them is less fundamental to what npsychs do. Having extensive knowledge prescribing meds has little to do with the functional/behavioral and cognitive aspects of neuroanatomy. So for the assesment and differential diagnostic knowledge that is the core of npsych, Im not sure it would add all that much.
I would also argue that assessment and diagnostic issues are the main area most practicing neuropsychologists are interested in. All of them can do treatment (therapy) and interventions (cogntive rehab), but many choose not too simply because they dont want to. And I dont see extensive knowledge of prescribing being too much of advantage when engaing in these activities anyway. Someone once told me that people go into npsych for 2 reasons. 1.) they like the brain. 2.)they hate doing psychotherapy. So....if my main interest is in being a diagnostician and suggesting recommendations to the referal source (many of which are psychosocial and behavioral anyway), pursing the MS in pharm provides no real return on investment in my npsych practrice.
Further, you many want to think about where your referal base is coming from. For npsychs, its mostly medical physicians. The npsychs role in this context is that of a liasion, or consultant. Not as a medical provider/treater. The doc wants your opinion about the knowledge that he does not have and does not have training in how to do- That is, assessing cogntion through use of standardized tests and using knowledge of functional neuroanatomy to assist in differntial diagnosis. In my experience, your referal sources are not going to apppreciate sending their patients to someone who they view as a (non-medical) consultant and then having their treatment/meds altered because you (a non M.D.) ordered it. Dont bite the hand that feeds you and dont trample on someone elses territory and job. If you constiently do this, your referals from that doc will quickly dry up and they will send their patients to other npsychs who provide only the service they are looking for.
All this said, i would be interested in John Courtney's opnion on all this, and how he (and if) utiilizes PP in his npsych practice. Im on the npsych list server, so I would be willing to send him an email about this if anyone is interested.
Agreed.I think you'd need to really have both an M.D and Ph.D and post-doc in npsych to have all those competecies you describe.