The demand for mental health professionals is greater than the supply, particularly of those with prescription-writing authority. Over the objections of some medical groups, the Illinois Senate has passed a bill allowing psychologists to prescribe drugs. State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the sponsor, says he believes some amendments address the concerns of opponents.
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They include requirements for a master’s degree in psychopharmacology and a collaborative relationship with a physician. “The 1,200 psychiatrists in the state of Illinois will tell you: they’re booked from morning until night,” says Harmon. “This is a sensible extension, based on a sound, proven model.” Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) praised the bill’s intentions but said it’s missing elements having to do with physical exams.