Shortage of Qualified Psychiatrists in United States
After examining almost “three thousand mental health and addiction treatment organizations,” the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) released a report last month showing a shortage of psychiatrists in the United States (Kim, 2017).
Actually, it’s not just a shortage: the number of psychiatrists has dropped 10 percent from 2003 to 2013, and there are only over 45,500 currently in the workforce (Kim, 2017). “In every town in America, we see the unmet need,” stated the NCBH CEO and President Linda Rosenberg, “. . . young pregnant women with untreated addiction living on the streets; older adults who are isolated, anxious, and at risk for suicide; men and women with mental illnesses released from jails without housing or access to care” (Kim, 2017). Dr. Stuart Gitlow, former president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), stated that psychiatry is “an essential component” of addiction treatment (Kim, 2017).
The NCBH report suggests the following in the wake of this information:
- Embracing holistic approaches
- Treating mental and physical health together
- Implementing telepsychiatry to reach more people
- That lawmakers increase access to treatment and Medicaid expansion
Kim, V. (2017). The psychiatrist shortage is bad news for addiction treatment. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/psychiatrist-shortage-bad-news-addiction-treatment