Christin Drake, MD, vice chair for diversity and equity and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, recently penned an opinion piece in STAT diving into what is causing a scarcity of mental health clinicians across the country, why it’s so damaging, and what can be done to ease it.
“There are too many patients and too few psychiatrist hours,” says Dr. Drake. “To be sure, there are shortages of physicians—or looming shortages—in primary care and many other specialties. But in psychiatry in particular, there has been an exponential increase in the number of people who need care. This number will only increase and has come to include many of my colleagues across the healthcare workforce.”
Additionally, Dr. Drake points to a helpful first and immediate step of increasing the capacity to train all qualified students along the pathway from undergraduate and medical education through residency training.
“Medical education and residency training are stunning processes that create physicians out of students, readying them for one of society’s most profound responsibilities.…We should welcome them rather than turn them away for lack of seats.”
A conversation on STAT’s First Opinion Podcast, called “Where are all the psychiatrists?,” stemmed from Dr. Drake’s essay.
Read more from STAT.