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December 1979

The Psychiatrist Shortage: What's the Right Number?

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr Liptzin is now with McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass, and the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(13):1416-1419. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780130034004

• This report examines the assertion that there is a shortage of psychiatrists in the light of available methodologies for projecting the supply and demand for psychiatrists. We conclude that such projections are of little value and divert attention from other approaches to solving problems in mental health service delivery. Training institutions also have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. Given the current state of ignorance and current fiscal constraints, government administrators should be modest about their ability to design perfect solutions and should hesitate to impose sweeping changes on the existing service delivery and training system.

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