Psychiatrists in short supply nationwide

Mr. Khandai’s interest in psychiatry is fueled by developments in brain science and, he said, concern for a patient population often made to feel “like the kids who get picked last in the class to play kickball.”

The profession needs him. Amid a growing demand for mental health services, the nation is wrestling with a chronic shortage of psychiatrists, who get less pay and respect than doctors in other specialties.

“We’re short in a sort of really bad way,” said Gary Swanson, president of the Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society and director of psychiatric residency at Allegheny General Hospital, noting patients in some areas wait two months or more to see a psychiatrist.

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