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Declaratory Ruling

April 22, 2003


Steven B. Spielman, Ph.D.
875 Greenland Road Ste. B-6
Portsmouth, NH 03801

RE: Declaratory Ruling - RSA 330-A:2 VI

Dear Dr. Spielman:

The Board reviewed your letter dated November 5, 2002 in which you request a declaratory ruling on the last line of RSA 330-A:2 VI "Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, no person licensed or registered under this chapter shall assess the need for medications, prescribe medications, or otherwise practice medicine as defined in RSA 329". Please be aware that this ruling applies only to the very specific facts you have raised and only to you, the petitioner, because it is a ruling "as to the specific applicability of a statutory provision or of any rule or order of the agency." See RSA 541-A:1, V.

The specific issues you asked the Board to rule on are:

1) Are psychologists permitted to make medication suggestions to referring physicians?

2) Is the following language acceptable in written reports to referring physicians?:

3) Is the following language acceptable in written reports to referring physicians?:

4) If the answers to 1 through 3 above are 'No', what does Section 330-A:2 VI allow for psychologists to do in their contracts with referring physicians regarding medication issues and what is acceptable language for written reports regarding medication issues?

The Board suggests the following language be used with referring physicians regarding medication issues: "Without assessing the need for medication, which is your domain, I would like to bring to your attention the following facts and concerns…. The above is based on the following (for example, cited research, cited clinical observation and cited patient history." This allows for the psychologist to bring forward the science of psychology to the physician who makes the diagnostic and prescriptive decision.

The Board feels it is the role of the psychologist to share information and expertise they have on this matter. Please feel free to contact the Board office if you need further information.

Peggy Lynch

Telephone: 603-271-6762
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