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By Athena Mandros

Psychiatrists play an important role in the mental health care treatment continuum, primarily providing biological and somatic approaches to treatment such as prescribing antipsychotics or proving electroconvulsive therapy. Whether an area has enough psychiatrists is central to health system planning and providing consumers with adequate access to services.

In 2014, there were 46,104 psychiatrists in the U.S., with 43,157 providing direct patient care. This is a total 13.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 population. Among states, there is considerable variation—from 4.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 population in Idaho to 43.2 psychiatrists per 100,000 . . .

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