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A 46-year-old member asked:

are emergency room and general practice doctors qualified to prescribe psychiatric medications?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Variable training: Any licensed physician may prescribe psychiatric medications -- but training and experience in diagnosing, selecting medications for specific patients, and managing side effects, varies. People often receive medicines initially from their pcp's, but if treatment gets difficult, they refer. Psychiatrists take 4-year residencies to develop expertise; many also do additional fellowship training.
Dr. Ravi Chand
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Psych MEds: Er mds and pcps may be qualified but dont have special training in diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesss, a similar analogy woulld be can psychiatrists prescribe asthma meds etc, yes any licensed md usually can prescribe any meds, but you have to go to a specialist for specific problems.
Dr. Alan Koenigsberg
Psychiatry 42 years experience
yes: An emergency physician does not usually have the time or resources to have all the necessary information to formulate a comprehensive psychiatric diagnosis--they do the best they can with the time and urgency of the er. Non-psychiatric physicians also do the best they can, but are not psychiatrists. For the best psychiatric care, consult with a psychiatrist, in a quiet, calm setting.

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1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
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Last updated Dec 19, 2014

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