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Driving and mental illness

To the Editor:

As we discuss laws to redefine the relationship between mental health professionals and their patients, a report on renewing my driver’s license might be pertinent since I need a form filled out by a psychiatrist or other medical doctor to renew my driver’s license.

In 2008, my psychiatrist and the local license bureau disagreed about how to fill out the form. That psychiatrist has left the area. And my longtime psychologist with a Ph. D. does not qualify because he is not a medical doctor. So I gave the 2012 form to my primary care doctor. I got my license with no glitches.

But then I got a letter from the license bureau in Springfield, saying that my doctor had not filled out the form correctly. I gave the letter to my doctor’s receptionist, who gave it back to me in about a month. When I asked if it usually took so long to complete this form, she said she did not know since this was the first time she had seen the form,  although she had been a receptionist for this medical group for several years.

The form was now accepted, but there was a new problem: My diagnosis had been changed by mistake from “Major Depression” to “Bipolar Disorder” on the accepted copy. I told my primary care doctor about this new problem at my next semi-annual, face-to-face visit.

He is currently working to fix it with Springfield. Let’s see what happens in 2016.

Bob Coleman



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