University-trained psychiatrists frequently avoid public-sector employment because they do not wish to be associated with stigmatized institutions. Inspirational recruitment-the elevation of poorly paid and unpleasant work to a noble cause-is one way of temporarily destigmatizing state psychiatry. The authors describe the impact of one such effort, the Maryland Plan, on recruitment of graduates of the University of Maryland psychiatric residency program into the state's psychiatric system. Significantly more graduates entered state psychiatry in the 15 years after the plan was implemented in 1978 (78 of 164 graduates, or 47.6 percent) than in the eight years before (seven of 57 graduates, or 12.3 percent). Data indicate that low salaries did not hurt recruitment, nor did doubling the stipends prevent the majority of recruits from leaving the public sector after a few years of service.