, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 244-245
Date: 28 Jan 2014

Resident Recruitment and Mental Health Parity

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To the editor:

The editorial by Roberts et al. in the September 2013 issue of Academic Psychiatry, “Strengthening Psychiatry’s Numbers”, provides an excellent and thoughtful review of the many and varied factors contributing to our field’s manpower crisis and possible approaches to address it [1]. I would suggest giving one set of factors greater emphasis—our country’s systemic under-valuation of the medical needs of people with psychiatric illnesses, with continued and profound lack of parity in accessible treatments and services which are covered by their insurers, and the under-compensation of both the hospitals that serve them and the physicians and other clinicians who care for them.

As noted in the editorial, Lyons has highlighted a variety of factors that adversely impact medical students’ attitudes toward psychiatry. Among these are “perceived low status, prestige and financial reward of psychiatry…difficulties with the patient population and treatment, (and a) depressing and fru ...