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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Jul;62(7):782-8. doi: 10.1176/ps.62.7.pss6207_0782.

Progress in workforce development since 2000: advanced training opportunities in public and community psychiatry.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Sterling Plaza, 3811 O'Hara St., Room 243, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


A crisis in the behavioral health care workforce has drawn considerable attention from consumers, families, advocates, clinical professionals, and system administrators at local, state, and federal levels in the past decade. Its effects have been felt in the recruitment, retention, and performance of psychiatrists in the public sector, where a focus on biological aspects of illness and efforts to cut costs have made it difficult for public psychiatrists to engage meaningfully in leadership, consultation, prevention, and psychosocial interventions. An array of training opportunities has recently been created to meet the needs of community psychiatrists at various stages of their careers, from psychiatrists just beginning their careers to those who have been working as medical directors for several years. This article describes the development of these initiatives and their impact on public psychiatry in four key areas--training of experienced psychiatrists, ensuring retention of psychiatrists in community programs, providing fellowship training, and creating professional identity and pride. Although these programs constitute only initial steps, opportunities for psychiatrists to obtain advanced training in community psychiatry are much greater now than they were ten years ago. These initiatives will enhance the professional identity of community psychiatrists and provide a solid foundation for future development of public service psychiatry in the behavioral health workforce.

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