• In 1978, both psychiatrists and a nonmedical professional group (lawyers) were more abundant in more populous, urbanized states. Lawyer-population ratios, however, correlated more strongly with the population's wealth; psychiatrist-population ratios correlated more strongly with the percentage of state population with college education and with state-mandated private insurance coverage of psychiatric services (both probable indexes of market demand). Even after controlling for population size and education, state-mandated insurance coverage was significantly related to the abundance of psychiatrists. Moreover, mandating states increased their psychiatrist-population ratios 100% faster after mandating coverage, whereas nonmandating states increased their ratios only 25% faster in comparable periods. While we investigate psychiatrists' geographic distribution, public policy formation can be aided if we also seek better measures of access and barriers to psychiatric care.
Koran LM. Psychiatrists' Distribution Across the 50 States, 1978. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(10):1155–1159. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780350089010