By Sterling Medical Staff
As of 2009, there are over 40,000 active Psychiatrists and over 400,000 clinically trained mental health professionals. With the lack of Psychiatrists, especially in the Midwest, the population is looking to Counselors, Psychologists, and other mental health professionals to fulfill their psychiatric needs.3
New England, Hawaii, and California are ranked highest in individuals per Physician, indicating there is a more pressing need of Psychiatry jobs in the states between the East and West Coasts. Psychiatrists in Massachusetts have an average of 3,440 individuals to cover, being the top ranking state.
The drastic difference between New England and the Midwest causes concern for the lack of Psychiatrists in the area. Idaho ranks last with 18,851 individuals per Psychiatrist, followed by Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and Iowa, in ascending order.1
The number of Psychiatrists has increased by 26% over the past 20 years, but about half of the Psychiatry workforce is of retiring age, making Psychiatry the second-oldest specialty workforce. But this is not of immediate concern due to less stress of the practice and less demand of on-call responsibilities.
Potential Psychiatrist job seekers are looking for Psychiatry job opportunities to provide flexible scheduling and part-time work to create a balanced lifestyle. Much of what is creating a growth in Psychiatry residency positions are the part-time opportunities that provide comfortable pay. Industry changes are evident in residency positions.
Women now outnumber men in residency training programs; however, international medical graduates have decreased in number. Typically, the international graduates are more likely to treat Medicaid and minority patients, which is an increasingly important concern. The field does remain stagnant in ethnic and racial minorities, remaining significantly white.3 It should be noted, though, that there is an increase in Asian/Pacific Islander Psychiatrists in California.2
The most significant changes in the workforce, therefore, are in the aging of the workforce, the next generation’s desired lifestyle, the feminization of the field, the growth in residency positions, and the decrease in multicultural Psychiatrist graduates, especially with an aging population under government funded medical assistance.
- “Individuals per One Patient Care Physician, Ranking by State and Specialty, 2009.” Iowa Medical Society. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012 from http://www.iowamedical.org/documents/physicianworkforce/2009PhysicianPopulationStateRankingsforSelectedSpecialties.pdf.
- Lok, Vincent and Susan Chapman. “The Mental Health Workforce in California: Trends in Employment, Education, and Diversity.” Center for the Health Professions, University of California, San Francisco. March 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2012 from http://www.cimh.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=X8qO1WB7zo8%3D&tabid=795
- Vernon, David J., Edward Salsberg, Clese Erikson, and Darrell G. Kirch. “Planning the Future Mental Health Workforce: With Progress on Coverage, What Role Will Psychiatrists Play?” Academic Psychiatry, Volume 33, Issue 3: 187-192. Retrieved 1 March 2012 from http://ap.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=33&page=187&journalID=17