The Psychiatric Workforce Shortage

Published May 2021

The Psychiatric Services Editor’s Choice provides essential curated collections from recent issues of Psychiatric Services.  Each month, Editor Lisa Dixon and the Early Career Psychiatrist Advisory Committee offer a curated collection from the rich resource of articles published in the journal. Updates will focus on one area, summarizing for the researcher, clinician, and policy analyst the latest information and seminal research with links to specific content from Psychiatric Services.

The current psychiatric workforce shortage is estimated to peak in 2024. Factors contributing to the shortage include an increasing demand for services, the inability of psychiatry residencies to train enough psychiatrists to meet population growth, and the expected rate of retirements among psychiatrists. Further, disparities exist because of the unequal distribution of behavioral health providers in rural areas and because many psychiatrists do not accept health insurance as reimbursement.

The selected articles characterize the psychiatric workforce crisis and explore various solutions to the workforce shortage. Proposed interventions include increasing the number of mental health providers (psychiatrists, advanced practice registered nurses, and other professionals), incorporating innovative models such as collaborative care and Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to best utilize the existing workforce, and using technology to reach currently underserved populations. Given that workforce shortages differentially impact already underserved populations, these strategies should be broadly implemented in communities facing unequal access to mental health care.

Please note that not all articles in this curated collection are available without a subscription. For access, learn about subscribing to Psychiatric Services.


Projected Workforce of Psychiatrists in the United States: A Population Analysis
Anand Satiani, M.D., M.B.A., Julie Niedermier, M.D., Bhagwan Satiani, M.D., M.B.A., Dale P. Svendsen, M.D., M.S.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp. 710–713

Psychiatric Workforce Now and in the Future
Saul M. Levin, M.D., M.P.A., F.R.C.P.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp. 714–715

Taking Action on the Workforce Crisis
Michael A. Hoge, Ph.D., and Manuel Paris Jr., Psy.D.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 6, p. 617

Expanding the Mental Health Workforce in China: Narrowing the Mental Health Service Gap
Xinran Hu, M.D., M.P.H., Robert Rohrbaugh, M.D., Qijian Deng, M.D., Ph.D., Qingnan He, M.D., Ph.D., Kelley F. Munger, M.A., Zhening Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
2017, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp. 987–989

Progress in Workforce Development Since 2000: Advanced Training Opportunities in Public and Community Psychiatry
Wesley Sowers, M.D., David Pollack, M.D., Anita Everett, M.D., Kenneth S. Thompson, M.D., Jules Ranz, M.D., and Annelle Primm, M.D.
2011, Volume 62, Issue 7, pp. 782–788

Psychiatric Workforce Needs and Recommendations for the Community Mental Health System: A State Needs Assessment
Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, Ph.D., M.P.H., Frank W. Berry III, Tod Citron, M.S.W., M.S., Judy Fitzgerald, M.S.W., Mark H. Rapaport, M.D., Bryan Stephens, M.A., M.B.A., Benjamin G. Druss, M.D., M.P.H.
2015, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp. 115–117

The Role of Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists in Expanding Access to Care and Improving Patient Outcomes
Lisa W. Goldstone, M.S., Pharm.D., Bethany A. DiPaula, Pharm.D., Amy Werremeyer, Pharm.D., Sheila Botts, Pharm.D., Brian Hepburn, M.D., Howard Y. Liu, M.D., M.B.A., Ken Duckworth, M.D., Alexander S. Young, M.D., M.S.H.S., Deanna L. Kelly, Pharm.D.
Epub ahead of print, May 4, 2021

A Community Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner Fellowship: Preparing Nurse Practitioners for Mental Health Workforce Expansion
Katharine M. Frissora, D.N.P., P.M.H.N.P., and Jules M. Ranz, M.D.
2020, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp. 91–93

Large-Scale Dissemination of Collaborative Care and Implications for Psychiatry
David J. Katzelnick, M.D., and Mark D. Williams, M.D.
2015, Volume 66, Issue 9, pp. 904–906

Consultative Approaches to Leveraging the Psychiatric Workforce for Larger Populations in Need of Psychiatric Expertise
Lori Raney, M.D., Mark Williams, M.D., Patty Gibson M.D., Tom Salter, M.D.
2020, Volume 71, Issue 10, pp. 1084–1087

Leveraging Behavioral Health Expertise: Practices and Potential of the Project ECHO Approach to Virtually Integrating Care in Underserved Areas
Brant Hager, M.D., Michael Hasselberg, Ph.D., Eric Arzubi, M.D., Jonathan Betlinski, M.D., Mark Duncan, M.D., Jennifer Richman, M.D., Lori E. Raney, M.D.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp. 366–369

Using Continuous Quality Improvement to Design and Implement a Telepsychiatry Program in Rural Illinois
Hossam Mahmoud, M.D., M.P.H., Emily L. Vogt, B.A., Rabih Dahdouh, M.S., Michael Luke Raymond, L.C.P.C.
2020, Volume 71, Issue 8, pp. 860–863

The Michigan Child Collaborative Care Program: Building a Telepsychiatry Consultation Service
Sheila Marcus, M.D., Nasuh Malas, M.D., M.P.H., Richard Dopp, M.D., Joanna Quigley, M.D., Anne C. Kramer, M.S.W., Elizabeth Tengelitsch, M.S.W., Ph.D., Paresh D. Patel, M.D., Ph.D.
2019, Volume 70, Issue 9, pp. 849–852

Designing an Academic-Community Telepsychiatry Partnership to Provide Inpatient and Outpatient Services in a Critical Access Hospital
Ryan J. Kimmel, M.D., Matthew D. Iles-Shih, M.D., M.P.H., Anna Ratzliff, M.D., Ph.D., Cara Towle, R.N., M.S.N.
2019, Volume 70, Issue 8, pp. 744–746


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