, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 252-259
Date: 10 Jan 2014

Recruitment of U.S. Medical Graduates Into Psychiatry: Reasons for Optimism, Sources of Concern

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The authors explain the importance of recruiting U.S. medical graduates into psychiatry, give reasons for optimism about future recruitment, express concerns about problems that could hinder it, and recommend ways to address these concerns. Reasons for optimism include: features of the specialty, such as its focus on the doctor/patient relationship;its increasing job availability and incomes; its scientific achievements; the peaking and possible fading of the National Generalist Initiative; and a 5-year upward recruitment trend. Concerns are: low “overt” interest in psychiatry among entering medical students; clerkship directors’ perceptions of a negative educational impact of managed care; graduating seniors’ suboptimal satisfaction with their psychiatry clerkships; and what is likely to be a small impact of New Mexico legislation on prescribing privileges for psychologists. The authors make recommendations for addressing these concerns.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s Workforce Retreat in Washington, DC on February 10, 2001. The authors thank Susanna Sung for her assistance with Figures 1–3.