Psychiatrist Census is Declining


The declining number of U.S. medical students choosing psychiatry as a specialty will exacerbate what the A.P.A. already calls a shortage of psychiatrists, according to a report from the National Resident Matching Program. U.S. News reports today that, according to the APA, about half of the 50,000 psychiatrists in the U.S. are over the age of 55, and many will soon retire.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. It appears that psychiatry (the coventional model) is dying.

    And based upon its track record (causing more harm than good for the vast majority), it seems unlikely that the public is ready to rush to its aid to provide life support.

    Let the old model die.
    Let some new models take hold… models of recovery and hope!


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  2. Maybe this is connected with books like Anatomy of an Epidemic, The Emperor’s New Drugs, and many more by Moncreiff, Bentall, Angell, Breggin, Healy … information about Open Dialogue’s non-drug success with psychosis … on and on.

    The A. P. A claims there are so many exciting developments in psychiatry, but maybe the graduating doctors realize that psychiatry always says that – always pointing to the great discovery that is just around the corner – and see a conflict between the rosy predictions and the mixed (at BEST) results that are being documented for psychiatry’s current remedies.

    Psychiatry is justifiably nervous about its reputation among doctors for being quasi-scientific. For very very good reason.

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