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Question about timing of licensure & attending PA after clinical training

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Psycycle, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist, ABPP
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    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone who is knowledgeable about such things could address a question regarding prescription rights & licensure. I'm planning to go to a 2 year physician's assistant program when I graduate in order to be able to a) address physical health issues that may impact mental health, and b) be able to prescribe under a doctor's supervision so I can do med management. I'm wondering if anyone might be able to share thoughts on when a good time for this would be. Obviously I need to do my internship year. But should I do a year's supervised work afterward in order to be license eligible, or should I go right back to school? If I went right back to school, would the PA license help in terms of getting someone to give me the year's supervision, or would it hinder because I would have been 2 years out of the field by then? Any thoughts would be most welcome. It appeals to me the most to go right into the schooling in order to stay in "school mode" as much as possible and also in order to get it over with ASAP... but I'm not sure if that could be a potentially damaging move.

    Thoughts would be most welcome!!!!
     
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  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    I'm sure the PA program will take up quite a bit of time, but I'd want to be licensed so I could try and make some money when possible.

    ps. I changed your title so it'd be more reflective of your topic.
     
  4. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist, ABPP
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    The PA thing would be full time, though, so there wouldn't be a lot of opportunity for money making - it'd be full time for 12 months (classes) and then one year of clinical rotations. I suppose one could make money on the side doing some psych work but it seems like I'd be pretty tired. Guess that's something to think about. Do you think it would harm my chances for getting supervised experience if I didn't do it that way?

    Thanks for the title change - it does reflect the topic better. I was confused - thinking, did I write that?
     
  5. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    i think you would have to explain to a supervisor why you took 2 years off before you did your post doc. I would consult with colleagues who have had children and taken some time off before seeking a post doc and see how they handled it.


    you might also consider how each degree would affect you reimbursment rate.
     
  6. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist, ABPP
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    yes - I can see that being an issue. Do you think a supervisor would consider it a negative thing or a positive thing, to have the PA degree?


    I think the PA might reimburse more, but I'm not sure. I don't want to become a script writer, but I'd like it to be an option.
     
  7. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    1) i have no idea how a supervisor would look at it. there are probably several varaibles to investigate. i would imagine availbility of psychiatric services in your area, number of referrals that are MDs, etc would play into this.

    2) you might also get into some dual relationships if this is not handled properly (e.g., PAing for a referral source, or therapist for the patient who you wrote scripts for, etc). there are some legalities, which you would be best served by consutling an attorney about. especially referrals.

    3) when i was referring to reimbursement, i meant that you might be shooting yourself in the foot with so many "hats". you would have to be separately qualified under each insurance panel as being a PA and a psychologist. I can see a situation wherein they tell you that they can't pay you for script writing because you are a PhD (i.e. mentla health), and then turn around and say they can't reimburse you for psych testing because you are a PA (i.e., medical). or saying you can't bill for medical codes or mental health codes.
     
  8. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist, ABPP
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    Thanks, these are all good points. I can imagine that it would be a problem with insurance companies. It's a lot to think about; I wish there was a clear answer as I would like to be in a position to work with both physical and mental health. The MD didn't serve this purpose because it doesn't teach therapy to the degree that I'd like. But there may indeed be the issue of too many hats. I would want to write scripts for patients with whom I did therapy, though - ultimately that would be the point of the PA degree.
     
  9. BellaPsyD

    BellaPsyD Correctional Psychologist
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    what state do you live in? are you very attached to it? you can do both in some states as a psych
     
  10. Psycycle

    Psycycle Psychologist, ABPP
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    I'm not attached to my state (New York) but my husband's job will probably dictate where we live (he's in academia and jobs are harder to come by). So it might be one of the ones that has prescription rights, but statistically speaking it's not as likely.
     

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