The Need To Address America’s Growing Shortage Of Psychiatrists

Psychiatrist diagnosing a female patient

There has been a rapid growth in healthcare jobs in recent years. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that healthcare employment will grow by 19% between 2014 and 2024 alone.

The demand for healthcare continues to grow, even in the field of mental health. The 2017 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives reveals that psychiatrists are the second most highly recruited medical practitioners. In spite of the demand for behavioral health treatment, however, America is experiencing a psychiatrist shortage.

Patients with Mental Health Disorders Seek Treatment in Hospital Emergency Rooms

Apart from the lack of proper care, areas of the country with a lack of psychiatrists have also experienced a rise in healthcare costs. The main reason behind the spike in healthcare spending is that people experiencing behavioral issues end up seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms than in psychiatric practice.

An Overall Lack in Mental Health Professionals

Even with more discussions on mental health and a lesser stigma surrounding its treatment than in previous years, there is still a huge void in patient care. Minority communities may suffer the most if only one mental health professional is available for miles and if the treatment they require is not appropriate for telemedicine. Emergency Staffing Solutions, a provider of custom-tailored management and staffing services, therefore, emphasizes the importance of physician staffing for a greater quality of care.

A Rise in the Need for Child Psychiatrists

The lack of psychiatrists does not only put minority communities at stake. As a matter of fact, children are also experiencing a mental health crisis. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that up to 20% of children experience a mental illness at least once a year in the US alone. Without enough psychiatrists to assist in the treatment of the disease, especially during the formative years, a child’s condition may worsen.

The US is experiencing a psychiatrist shortage, and it is putting the public health at risk. With proper staffing solutions and the creation of a more supportive environment for the psychiatric profession, there is hope in ensuring the proper care every patient deserves.