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Psychiatric PAs?

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by neuropsych, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member
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    Is there such a thing as a "psychiatric PA?" I noticed that PAs traditionally work in surgical, internal medicine, and other settings, but not psychiatric. Is this really the case? If so, why aren't PAs in psychiatry? If not, where can I find more information about psychiatric PAs?

    Thank You!
     
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  3. AggiePA

    AggiePA Junior Member
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    hey neuropsych. I don't know how to answer your question regarding the number of PA's who work in psychiatry (try going to the aapa website, though, and I'm sure you'll find some numbers there--www.aapa.org) but I that there are 2 programs in the nation that serve as a type of "residency" program for PA's who graduate from Master's programs and then want to receive specialized training in psychiatry. The programs are in Iowa and at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. That's not too shabby when you consider that as of today only 25 post-graduate training ("residency") programs exist--and 2 of those are in psychiatry. And at least at my school I know that one of our required clinical rotations is a 4-week psychiatry ER/inpatient/outpatient rotation.
    Gig' em!
    AggiePA
    UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas class of 2004
     
  4. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member
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    Hi Aggie!

    Thank you for your reply! Have you ever heard of psychiatric PAs who are also clinical psychologists? Does such a person have a right to prescribe meds? Just curious...

    neuropsych

    "Psychiatrists undergo four years of medical school during which they learn biochemistry, pharmacology, and diagnosis. Then they have at least three years of full-time postgraduate psychiatric training during which they typically prescribe drugs (under supervision) for hundreds of patients. And once in practice, the vast majority learn more by reading journals, talking with colleagues, and attending continuing education courses. I don't see how a part-time, one-year course can provide anything comparable for psychologists." -- Stephen Barrett, MD
     
  5. PACtoDOC

    PACtoDOC 1K Member
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    Since I have been practicing I have never seen a PA in psychiatry, but I have seen a lot of nurse practitioners who work for Psych docs. I also think a PA who was previously a pyschologist or vice versa would be a good asset. Docs would still have to be there or nearby to supervise, but then a psychologisty/PA would be capable of prescribing. I think psychologists should only be able to prescribe medicines if they a) take a course equal to what a PA takes in pharmacology, b)pass some sort of rigorous written exam, and c) still have to work with a physician who supervises the scripts. There is no way a psychologist can go solo with prescription authority, because they don't understand all the non-psych drug interactions.
     

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