Mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, working in rural areas face handicaps like distance, deficient support services, professional isolation, and lack of continuing education opportunities. Hence many rural community mental health centers, like some urban ones, have trouble attracting psychiatrists. in 1977 a rural CMHC in Arizona hired a part-time psychiatrist who visits the county six days a month to work with local therapists and nurses in the care of patients. The psychiatrist, affiliated with a university medical school, is also on call by telephone 24 hours a day. Thus some assessment and prescribing must be done over the telephone. The author describes the program and explains how the psychiatrist works to link various elements of the CMHC programs, and to link the CMHC with the community and with the medical school.