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December 1979

Future Needs for Psychiatrists and Other Mental Health Personnel

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(13):1401-1408. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780130019002

• Approximately 15% of the pouplation suffers a diagnosable mental disorder, and with the increasing availability of community-based mental health services, growing demand is placed on the mental health specialty sector. Though the general health sector and nonmedical mental health specialists provide services to a large proportion of this case load, psychiatrists possess unique skills for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorder and for the provision of consultation and liaison services to nonpsychiatric physicians. In spite of the need, a number of factors, including restrictions on foreign medical graduates and federal emphasis on the primary care specialties, have created an accelerating reduction in the production of psychiatrists. The federal government and medical schools are encouraged to devise strategies collaboratively to address issues to ensure an adequate supply of psychiatrists for the future.