Demand for psychiatrists is growing faster than for other medical specialties, according to Merritt Hawkins, the physician search division of AMN Healthcare Services Inc.
The company noted 179 requests for psychiatrists from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010—up 47 percent from the previous year and up 121 percent from three years earlier.
“When the economy goes down, mental health problems tend do go up,” said Merritt Hawkins president Mark Smith. “But there is more to the rising demand for psychiatrists than the recession. A combination of factors is driving a psychiatrist shortage that could soon reach crisis levels.”
More than half of all psychiatrists are 55 or older and nearing retirement age as fewer medical school graduates are showing an interest in psychiatry, according to Merritt Hawkins.
Meanwhile, demand for psychiatric services is expected to increase by 19 percent from 1995 to 2020.
Filed by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.