Florida approves RxP certification

By The National Psychologist Editor
September 1, 2010 - Last updated: May 31, 2011

The Florida Board of Psychology in July approved the American Board of Medical Psychology (ABMP) to certify properly trained psychologists for a specialty in medical psychology.

Florida does not allow RxP psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs, but the certification will permit those with proper training to indicate the specialty in credentials and list the designation ABMP behind their names.

ABMP is the accrediting arm of the Academy of Medical Psychology (AMP), which was founded in 1998 to monitor RxP training and to advocate for expansion of RxP authority for psychologists.

AMP is independent of the APA and expressed opposition in December to a proposal by a committee of APA’s Division 55, the American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy, that the division should apply to the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) for a specialty designation in Medical Psychology.

James K. Childerson, Ph.D., ABMP president and a prescribing psychologist in Louisiana, wrote to ABPP in December pointing out that ABMP is nationally recognized and has been awarding board-certified diplomates in medical psychology since 2005.

Childerson said approving an ABPP specialty in medical psychology would therefore be redundant and ABMP would consider such action an infringement of trademarks. He also noted that the move is inconsistent with APA’s long-standing practice of considering psychopharmacology a proficiency rather than a specialty.

Childerson said medical psychology is “far more comprehensive” than psychopharmacology and ABMP “is willing to take any legal action necessary to protect our property rights.”

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