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Psychologists' Medical Staff Membership in Academic Healthcare

Psychologists' Medical Staff Membership in Academic Healthcare

Abstract

Medical staff membership has important implications for psychologists in academic medical settings for clinical practice and parity. This study surveyed 311 psychologists practicing in academic health centers about their status on the medical or professional staff, institutional privileges and governance, and other issues relevant to practice in medical settings. Data from the survey revealed that only 36.7% of respondents held full membership on the medical staff of their facility, 22.9% were classified as allied health staff, 14.5% were limited members of the medical staff, and 13.8% fell within a category of professional staff. The advent of health care reform and a call for interprofessional collaboration provides a renewed opportunity for psychologists to continue to advocate for full medical staff membership in the same way as physicians, dentists, and podiatrists. Without ongoing efforts and advocacy, medical staff membership for some psychologists could be abridged and the role of psychologists in the new developing health reform organizations could be eclipsed or attenuated.
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