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4 things you may not have known about Psychiatrists

close up of clipboard as therapist writes instructions and female patient sits next to her with hands folded in lap

Psychiatry probably conjures some specific pictures in your mind, like an older man with a Van Dyke smoking a pipe, but there’s so much more to it.

  1.  It takes a lot of dedication to become one You may know that a Psychiatrist is a doctor, but did you know that it takes 12 years to become one?  That’s right. They spend four years as an undergraduate and pre-med student earning their bachelor’s degree. From there, comes another four years of medical school, and then finally four years of residency, the first year being at a hospital while the other three being solely focused on Psychiatry.
  2. They are human beings I know, that sounds facetious, but we often think of them as machines without feelings, but the truth is they are doing what they do to help people. Getting to the place where you have your own practice means wearing many hats as well, so they deserve some respect for getting that far and still having that urge to help. Also since they are human, it should also be understood they aren’t one size fits all. So if you don’t feel right with your psychiatrist, try again.  Ultimately, they want to help you, even if that means someone else is your psychiatrist.
  3. There aren’t enough of them, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were just over 20,000 Psychiatrists employed in the US in 2017. However according to Stacy Weiner, a Staff Writer at AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) There is in fact a shortage of Psychiatrists in the US. One reason for this, suggests Darrell G. Kirch, MD, is “We face a broad range of mental health issues, including the acute problems of opioid use and increasing rates of depression and suicide.” . According to Merritt Hawkins (a physicians search firm)  in a 2017 report “[The gap is] of more severity than shortages faced in virtually any other specialty.” So if you think you may need some psychiatric help, you may want to make sure you get your first appointment setup ahead of time.
  4. Texas’ number of Psychiatrists is growing, says the TMA (Texas Medical Association) Texas needs 432 psychiatrists to end it’s shortage. The silver lining though is that the number of med students showing interest in Psychiatry is growing. in 1999, it was at 53%, but as of the end of 2018, the number has grown to 63%. If you are in the Denton, Texas area and are looking for psychiatric services, you may wish to look into the services of Connections Wellness Group here.

For questions about this or other services at Connections Wellness Group, contact us.