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Problems in Attracting and Retaining Psychiatrists in Rural Areas
Gary J. Tucker; Jesse Turner; Robert Chapman
Psychiatric Services 1981; doi:
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Dartmouth Medical School Hanover, New Hampshire

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Efforts to eliminate the shortage of psychiatrists in rural areas have been relatively unsuccessful due to the special personal and professional problems facing the rural psychiatrist. The rural psychiatrist may feel personally isolated, encountering a somewhat foreign culture and living in uncomfortable proximity to patients and their families. He may feel professionally frustrated, for his physician colleagues are usually conservative and hold dear the medical model of care. He may suffer the typical frustrations of the psychiatrist working out of a community mental health center, and has little opportunity for professional growth. Academic training centers that train psychiatrists in the region where they will work can more adequately prepare trainees for rural practice and can offer continuing education courses to professionals already practicing in the area. These centers should collaborate with mental health facilities to define and respond to manpower problems. Finally, opportunities for rural practitioners to make shifts in career emphasis over time should be created.

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Problems in attracting and retaining psychiatrists in rural areas. Hosp Community Psychiatry 1981;32(2):118-20.