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IMHO there is a great deal of potential in this specialty.

This article is a few months old but the numbers are solid...


  According to this article ' Nationally about 1,800 PAs, or roughly 2% of the total number practicing, specialize in psychiatry'.

Looking at Psychiatrist shortage ' From 2003 to 2013, the number of practicing psychiatrists declined by 0.2%, to 37,889 nationally by 2013. During the same decade, the number of adult primary care doctors increased by 9.5%, to 211,121 total, and by 14.2% to 862,444 among physicians overall'. ' By 2015, 60% were 55 years or older'.

   I know.... You are thinking that new grads need experience for this type of work. This is not true. The right personality and an opportunity are all you need.... That and a desire to work in mental health, I should say...

 Of course you can apply for a clerkship. I found 7 programs here:









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It depends on the area and the size of the practice. From my exp. starting around $85k. They usually pay your malpractice, you get 5 or so CME days, around $3k for CME, 15-20 vacation days..

 IMHO the biggest benefit is the autonomy in treating your patients. Once you have built up a case load, you can pretty much decide the plan on your own. It is very dependent on your MD. I have worked with some that are wide open on suggestions and some that will not go off label at all....

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I am very happy to see this post! I have recently decided to apply to a PA program, and my dream is to be able to work as a PA in an inpatient facility. I have worked in the pharmacy field for many years, and have a special interest in how the combinations of these meds can really change someone's life. It is nice to see some of the opportunities available in this field. 

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I am truly digging this specialty. I work on a C/L service so I still get to view telemetry, CTs, MRIs, and r/o encephalopathies of all sorts.  Plus it’s a level 1 trauma center, level 1 cardiac center, and level 1 stroke center, with a burn unit and a neuroICU.  There is plenty of severe psych pathology as well as a detox program for patients.  For a PA, this is huge, because I don’t feel like I’m simply passing around SSRIs all day and losing all of my medicine experience.  I get to still be a part of it (even if it’s from a psych angle) every day. 

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Oh, and a bonus to my previous response... the fact that I actually have internal medicine and general surgery training/experience actually makes me more “desirable” to work in the hospital C/L setting vs my PMHNP colleagues.  They work in the psychiatric center next door and do not engage in any medicine patients at the main hospital at all (which I prefer).  The doctors trust me to see their patients in the medical center, and in fact sometimes ask me my opinion in treatments.  I feel very satisfied with my role, and feel i have a lot of autonomy that i would not have in other specialties.  

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That is great to hear.

 In some respects I am surprised at how few PAs work in Psych. From the most recent salary report I believe it was about 1%.

Outpatient psych care is quite different from your work. Plenty of autonomy and opportunity to grow and learn. I can not see myself doing any other specialty.

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After working in neurosurgery for four years, I'm about to make the transition over to psychiatry. Not sure if this means I should be transitioning as a patient instead of clinician, or if I was silly not to do this sooner. My commute is unbeatable, my hours are substantially fewer, and my earning potential is much higher. Anyways, glad to see such engaged folks in this small community. Makes me feel even better about this move.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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