1The M&W proprietary database of psychiatrists is unparalleled in its ability to put your job opening in front of every psychiatrist who meets your hiring criteria
2The M&W recruiters all have exceptionally lengthy tenures within physician and physician executive recruitment and specific to the specialty of psychiatry.
Very High Success Rate
3Where others have failed you in your psychiatry hiring needs, the recruiters of M&W will prevail and with deliver you the caliber of candidate you deserve.
4 Our fees are competitive with other firms and the value enjoyed by our clientele is unsurpassed.
The field of psychiatry is intriguing, yet it is not the most popular specialization for graduates of medical schools. As an expertise that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental conditions, preparing to become a psychiatrist follows the same rigorous process as other medical and surgical specializations. Access to medical residency positions and post-doctoral fellowships are just as competitive as other fields.
In many cases, residents in their final year of medical rotations would already have some direction as to their next career step. For those specializing in psychiatry, options include private practice, hospitals, outpatient centers, substance abuse clinics and academic organizations.
Often, professional physician recruiters facilitate access to information about openings in residents’ chosen field and preferred venue. Later on, physician recruiters serve to smooth out negotiations between candidates and employers. Recruiters who specialize in psychiatrist recruitment understand that in this field, more than in any other, it is important to find the perfect candidate who will complement the ideals of the organization and who can make a long-term commitment to the community.
Like most highly educated professionals, psychiatrists may have a preference for metropolitan areas where the need for mental health providers exists due to the size and diversity of the population. A recruiter of psychiatrists makes it their business to find the best match for the candidate, extending beyond the preferred location if need be. In this way, recruiters can help spread the word about the need for psychiatrists in suburban and rural locations, dispelling myths that psychiatric practice is productive only in urban areas.
In a study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health, Washington D.C. Ranks first in the number of psychiatrists per 100,000 population while Iowa is dead last at 51st on the list. Minnesota itself is midway at 24th in the ranking.
Increasing Demand for Psychiatrists
The demand for psychiatrists has risen along with social, environmental and economic pressures on the population. Many areas are critically under-served when it comes to adequate and timely access to mental health care. The need for psychiatrists in particular has reached alarming proportions in certain high-need areas such as rural locations and inner city enclaves.
The inability of health care providers to meet the need for psychiatric services becomes more apparent with every headline-grabbing incident involving individuals suspected of mental disorders. Each incident leads to a re-examination of what could have been done if only access to mental health services were better.
The Mental Health Picture
Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that on average, depression affects 6.8 to 8.7 percent of the population with symptoms manifesting in different ways. This relates to 1 out of every 11 persons who can be classified as clinically depressed.
The picture for nursing home residents is even more heartbreaking with 67 percent of the population diagnosed with some form of mental disorder according to CDC reports.
Pediatric psychiatric care does not fare any better. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry reports that, at any given time, between 7 to 12 million young children and adolescents are afflicted with mental, behavioral and developmental conditions. Some states report that the waiting time to get an office visit scheduled for psychiatric services for a child in distress could be as long as six months.
Add this to the information that the majority of practicing psychiatrists are 55 and older who will be considering retirement in another decade, and it becomes clear that the finding and training the next generation of psychiatrists should begin now.
Access to Psychiatric Care
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, the number of practicing psychiatrists was 24,210 with majority in private practice, leaving some areas critically under-served by mental health practitioners. Counting all qualified mental health counselors, the number would reach 156,300. This number is still vastly inadequate given the size of the at-risk population and the depth of their needs.
These numbers show that patient access to mental health services is hobbled by inadequate numbers of psychiatrists and mental health counselors. Surveys indicate that it is more difficult to get an appointment with a psychiatrist than with doctors in different fields.
In regions that have been designated as mental health professional shortage areas by the federal government, the total population approaches 90 million compared to only 55 million for areas designated as primary-care shortage areas.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal organization under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services, reports that the nation needs an estimated 30,000 child psychiatrists to meet increasing demand for mental health services. Only 25 percent of this figure has been met.
Insurance and Access to Care
A study conducted by Harvard researchers using a simulated patient profile to gain access to psychiatric services found that of the 64 facilities within 10 miles of downtown Boston that were contacted, only eight offered appointments. In spite of the level of distress reported by the simulated patient, only half of the eight appointments were scheduled within two weeks of the call. In the calls, the patient mentioned his health care coverage, hoping that this would make a difference.
The study suggests that patient access to psychiatric care has become so restrictive even for dire cases and with health coverage. The researchers cited the shortage of psychiatrists as one of the factors restricting access to mental health services.
Addressing the Shortage
Industry experts question the validity of calling the dearth of psychiatrists as a true shortage situation. They claim that it is more correctly called an imbalance of supply, citing the density of psychiatrists in preferred zip codes of Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C.
Areas experiencing the effects of a psychiatrist shortage have turned to other mental health counselors for help. However, these programs are inherently limited by the absence of a diagnostic and prescriptive component as some tasks are restricted to medical doctors. Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy may be practiced by psychologists, but prescribing pharmaceuticals and other medical treatments require a medical license.
Overwhelmed by acute need for psychiatrists, some families and health providers are turning to family practitioners and, in worst-case scenarios, emergency rooms to ensure that patients get some measure of relief from their symptoms. Some states have dabbled with tele-medicine strategies to virtually extend the reach of on-staff psychiatrists.
Health care practitioners at the frontlines insist that semantics have no place in a crisis of this proportion. Whether the deficiency should be called a shortage of psychiatrists or an imbalance of resources does not matter because the impact of inadequate health care for those with mental disorders and behavioral issues can be far-reaching. Mental disorders exacerbate other health conditions, affecting the lives of patients, their families and their caregivers.
On the other side of the spectrum, psychiatrists are also needed to ensure that the healthy population remains so. Mental and behavioral health monitoring is especially important to address developmental issues in children whose symptoms can be traced to in-vitro exposure to harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Psychiatrists at the Forefront
Clearly, psychiatrists are integral to a cohesive approach to health care. In a society beset with the pressures and trappings of modern living, psychiatrists have extended beyond the traditional role of leading provider for mental health issues. Psychiatrists are being recruited as research team leaders, federal health policy advisers and advocates for better medical care access for everyone.
It is important for psychiatrists to see the value that they can bring to various organizations in different roles. Sometimes, nontraditional choices are not as obvious nor as appealing as they should be. This is where specialized recruiters can step in and open up new possibilities for psychiatrists. Health care policies are changing, but psychiatrists, with their science knowledge and unique skill set, will become even more relevant in this milieu.