Objective: Practice settings for American psychiatrists were examined for recent trends. Methods: Surveys were conducted in 1996 (N=970) and 2002 (N=917) among members of the American Psychiatric Association. Results: Between 1996 and 2002 the percentage of direct patient care hours in publicly funded settings increased from 40 to 50 percent for early-career psychiatrists and from 29 to 44 percent for mid-career psychiatrists. By 2002 the percentage of direct patient care hours was higher in publicly funded settings than in solo office practices for early-career psychiatrists (50 percent versus 17 percent) and mid-career psychiatrists (44 percent versus 29 percent). Conclusions: The popular image of the psychiatrist sitting in a private office does not conform with current survey data, which show that psychiatric practice is increasingly taking place in publicly funded settings. Because it extends to mid-career psychiatrists, the shift from private office practice to publicly funded settings is not just a manifestation of early-career psychiatrists' earning a salary while building up their private practices but is a more enduring change in the landscape of psychiatric practice. The authors discuss the implications of these findings with regard to professional identity and training of psychiatrists.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health