Mixed Professional Corporations

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Abstract

In this article, the author argues that it is past time for psychology to regard itself simply as a mental health profession and to recognize itself as the health profession it is. It is as broad as the state acts that license, certify, or register its practice. It is as broad as direct recognition/freedom of choice state laws delineate. It is noted that many psychologists in practice have established cordial referral and other working relationships with family practitioners, pediatricians, internists, psychiatrists, and other medical specialists. Generally, these interdisciplinary relations are informal and based on mutual regard. Occasionally, the basis is joint membership in a business, as distinct from a professional corporation. Over 20 states have laws that proscribe organized group practice. However, if private sector health care delivery is to be comprehensive, effective, and viable, a medium must be found to enable health practitioners of different disciplines to engage in professional corporate practice as colleagues. A new California law helps set the stage and may prove to be a useful model. With this law, California becomes the third state in which psychologists can engage in multidisciplinary corporate practice with physicians. By enabling the formation of multidisciplinary professional corporations wherein psychologists and physicians may practice as colleagues, these laws open a new avenue for the delivery of this broadened range of professional services to the public and further establish, in statute, a collaborative basis for practice among psychologists and physicians. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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