John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
Misleading Information Used to Advance Psychologist Prescribing Bill
Statement of William A. McDade, MD, PhD President, Illinois State Medical Society

Chicago, IL - "ISMS takes issue with the suggestion that psychologist prescribing is a routine practice of the U.S. armed forces.

In the early 1990s, the Department of Defense (DoD) initiated the Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project (PDP). This long since discontinued program trained a total of ten psychologists to treat adult non-geriatric patients using psychotropic medications. 

A 1997 PDP review determined the 'need for prescribing psychologists is not adequately justified.' The DoD invested $6 million, or $610,000 per trainee, to to train each of the program participants, a sum which would far exceed the scope and expense of any additional training proposed through Illinois Senate Bill 2187.  Further, since the PDP was initiated, no additional psychologists have been authorized to prescribe within the military and it is unclear how many of the ten PDP-trained psychologists are currently prescribing to military patients.

Interjecting Illinois' heroin abuse epidemic into this debate is a classic attempt at misdirection.  The fact remains that psychologists are inadequately trained to prescribe.

Justifying Illinois legislation to allow psychologists prescribing rights through a very limited, defunct and narrow training experiment is not good medicine."


ISMS is a professional membership association representing 11,000 physicians practicing in all medical specialties statewide. Dr. McDade is a Chicago anesthesiologist.

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