In re MH 2008-001795 – 9/29/2009
Arizona Court of Appeals Division One Holds That A Psychiatric Resident Physician with a One-Year Training Permit Qualifies as a “Licensed Physician” for the Purpose of Completing a Petition for Court-Ordered Evaluation.
Appellant’s legal guardian filed an application for involuntary evaluation, after which a first-year psychiatric resident holding a one-year training permit petitioned the trial court for an involuntary mental health evaluation. After two physicians performed evaluations, the mental health center filed a petition for court-ordered treatment. Appellant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the psychiatric resident was not qualified to petition the court for an involuntary mental health evaluation. The trial court denied Appellant’s motion and this appeal followed.
The Arizona Appeals Court held that a first-year psychiatric resident holding a one-year training permit is a “licensed physician” and thus is qualified to complete a petition for court-ordered evaluation. Under the applicable statutes and regulations, a petition for court-ordered evaluation must be completed by “a psychiatrist, or other licensed physician experienced in psychiatric matters.” Because a temporary permit grants a qualified license to practice when the resident physician is properly supervised by a licensed physician, a temporary permit holder qualifies as a “licensed physician.” Consequently, where, as here, the psychiatric resident works under the supervision of the medical director, the resident may complete a petition for court-ordered evaluation.
Judge Winthrop authored the opinion; Judges Swann and Brown concurred.