3 Ways to Adapt to Current Psychiatrist Shortages

Gary Bauer

3 Ways to Adapt to Current Psychiatrist Shortages

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) says, “The U.S. had too few psychiatrists even before COVID-19 increased rates of anxiety and depression.” These shortages will exacerbate. Within a few years, the worst-case scenarios predict we will be short more than 31,000 psychiatrists. How can organizations adapt to the perfect storm of higher mental health issues and a growing shortage of doctors in this country?

What to Do about the Growing Psychiatrist Shortage?

By 2025 we’ll need another 6,090 psychiatrists to keep up with demand. The AAMC says the shortages are caused by an aging workforce, physician burnout, and the fact that the psychiatric field has lower reimbursement compared to what the profession requires. One study showed practicing psychiatrists struggle with a few challenges while on the job:

  • Having so many regulatory compliance rules.
  • Dealing with difficult patients.
  • Working with an electronic health record.
  • Long hours.
  • Declining reimbursement.
  • Worrying about lawsuits.
  • Dangers of COVID.

The report also indicated that salaries increased in 2021 but so did the number of hours these doctors are working. This exacerbated the problem of psychiatrist burnout. Psychiatry ADVISOR says, “Many factors, including lack of resources, lack of autonomy, and personality traits, contribute their feelings of professional exhaustion.” The latest numbers show two of five psychiatrists suffer from professional burnout.

So, now that we recognize the problem, what can we do to alleviate it? Here are three strategies healthcare providers can leverage:

  1. Increase your networking ability. Certainly, these doctors are not applying to your open positions. There is just too much competition. If you want to stand a chance of finding the skilled psychiatrists you need, networking is critically important. While networking is admittedly a time-consuming process, if you and others on your team look closely at your connections, then their connections, you just might find the talent that you need.
  2. Increase your signing, retention, and incentive bonuses. Medscape’s 2021 Psychiatrist Compensation Report says the average psychiatrist makes a lower incentive among all clinical specialties in the U.S. The report also shows that self-employed psychiatrists earn 10% more income if they go into private practice. Locum tenens make even more at up to three times the salary of a full-time employed psychiatrist.
  3. Work with MedSource Consultants. Resource scarcity is the current healthcare reality for candidate search. Finding talent requires a full-time effort to proactively source and build candidate relationships. HR teams struggle to find candidates in part because they have competing priorities related to running the business. Partnering with a full-time healthcare recruiting team extends your reach. Our focus is singularly on finding you the candidates needed to keep up with patient care demands.

Contact MedSource Consultants Today

Today’s healthcare job marketplace is challenging. MedSource Consultants works with healthcare providers to meet the demands of a growing patient population combined with a shrinking labor pool. Find out how we can provide competitive advantages to your organization with our proven processes and robust talent networks. Contact us today.