Atlanta, Ga. (May 21, 2019) – May 2019 marks the 70th year of Mental Health Month, observed at a time when the field of mental health has been especially hard hit by the country’s physician shortage. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 55.3 million Americans live in a federally designated primary care shortage area, while a remarkable 89.3 million live in an area with a shortage of mental health professionals. This shortage of psychiatrists and licensed professional counselors stems from a variety of factors, according to Jackson Physician Search, a firm specializing in the permanent recruitment of physicians and advanced practice providers to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
“The shortage of mental health practitioners starts with very low numbers graduating in the field and is compounded by lower pay and insurance reimbursement in this specialty,” said Tony Stajduhar, President, Jackson Physician Search. “Our experience shows the ratio of open jobs to open candidates is skewed compared with fields like cardiology and surgery. Mental health needs are growing in both rural and suburban settings, and medical facilities are seeking both physicians and physician ‘extenders’ like nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can practice as both generalist and mental-health specialist.”
According to a JAMA infographic, the number of people being treated for mental disorders doubled in the overall population from 1996 to 2015. So, what’s fueling the increase in mental health patients? For Kurt Micelli, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Elwyn, an internationally recognized nonprofit human services organization, the growing number of mental health patients probably stems from a range of issues.
“The increase is likely due to a combination of service awareness, insurance coverage, improved treatment options, decreased stigma of treatment, and the increased stress and complexity of modern life,” said Dr. Micelli. “The demand for mental health services is so great that it’s hard keeping up with the supply of clinicians needed to provide those services.”
To keep pace with the demand for skilled mental health professionals and provide premier services, Elwyn turned to Jackson Physician Search for recruitment assistance.
“Jackson Physician Search has helped improve awareness of our nonprofit and allowed us to better compete in the labor market for talented psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners,” said Dr. Micelli. “JPS has really enhanced and broadened our recruitment abilities. Our commitment, in general, to investing in employees is all with the intent of improving patient care.”
Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. For more information, visit www.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.