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PAs Poised to Address Shortage of Psychiatrist

A significant percentage of people in the U.S. experience mental illness. However, limited access to psychiatrists has caused a notable decrease in the use of mental health services.1

According to an NCCPA poster titled “Characteristics and Contributions of PAs Practicing in Psychiatry,” PAs are positioned to contribute to the solution of the psychiatrist deficit.

The NCCPA poster was presented at the 2023 AAPA Conference and found:

· The number of PAs practicing in psychiatry has increased from 1.3% in 2016 to 2% in 2021.

· There has been a 45.5% increase in the number of PAs in psychiatry who participate in telemedicine since 2020.

· Approximately 71% of PAs in psychiatry are female.

· 15% of PAs in psychiatry are under the age of 30.

· 86% of PAs in psychiatry report being satisfied with their present position.

· 68.1% of PAs in psychiatry report no symptoms of burnout.

At the end of 2021, the median salary for a PA in psychiatry was $115,000 per year.

NCCPA’s poster also provides insights into the characteristics and employment settings of PAs in psychiatry. The study’s results show that PAs in psychiatry are a necessary and valuable source of expertise for mental health care services.

1Terlizzi, EP and Zablotsky, B. (2020). Mental Health Treatment Among Adults: United States, 2019 (No. 380; NCHS Data Brief, p. 8). National Center for Health Statistics; CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs.htm.