ANSWERS: 3
  • Psychiatry is the fourth largest specialty in the United States. Since 1970, psychiatry has grown 86.7%, while child psychiatry has grown 194.6%. However, psychiatrists are distributed unequally across the country, are working fewer hours than in the past, and less of their time is spent in direct patient care activities. There has been a long-standing and ongoing debate about how many physicians, in general, and psychiatrists, specifically, we need in the United States (1,2). Several models have been proposed to determine what this need may be. However, there are many complicating factors in developing models of physician (and psychiatrist) supply and demand. First, determining the medical need for psychiatrists might be useful in the abstract but is not practical. This is because the medical need is likely to be far greater than the supply of psychiatrists that can be supported in the economic and health care environment. Economic factors must be considered in any model of psychiatrist supply and demand. Additionally, mental health needs of the public are met by physicians other than psychiatrists and by other mental health professionals.
  • Not enough - or too many? ;-)
  • 702/555-1212. Ask for Joe.

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