Finding a psychiatrist to work in a community behavioral health program or community health center has become exceptionally difficult. The pipeline of new psychiatrists does not match the demand. Many are being drawn from community-based programs to hospitals and health systems. In many states, up to 50% of psychiatrists are in private practice and refuse to accept insurance as payment. The Annapolis Coalition, with support from the Central East Mental Health Technology Center (MHTTC), has sponsored development of a guide and webinar on finding and keeping psychiatrists [read more].
This project was funded by the Central East MHTTC and coordinated by Dr. Michael Hoge, the Annapolis Coalition’s Senior Science and Policy Advisor. The work is the brainchild of Kenneth Thompson, MD, who serves as the Medical Director of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council, and as a practicing community psychiatrist with a passion for the work and decades of experience. The guide and webinar are titled Recruiting and Retaining Unicorns: Finding your Dream Psychiatrist.
Dr. Thompson addresses ten dimensions of the process of finding and keeping psychiatrists who are interested in community-oriented, public-sector practice. Practical advice is offered about recruitment and retention strategies. The areas addressed include money, autonomy, working in teams, leadership opportunities, working with administration, career support, patient load, technology, community engagement, and opportunities for family leisure and a rich life within the local community. Information also is offered about how to locate community psychiatrists who might be looking for employment. While the guide and webinar focus specifically on community psychiatrists, Annapolis Coalition Executive Director, Dr. Gail Stuart, noted that these recommendations are applicable to finding and keeping all types of behavioral health workers.
The guide and webinar can be accessed on the Central East MHTTC website here.