Attracting medical professionals to this region has not always been easy, regardless of their specialty. Bassett spokeswoman Karen Huxtable described rural inpatient psychiatry as “a complex, intense and challenging profession” — in other words, one that not too many people are interested in taking on.
So what are we to do? Some regions have added slots to their residency programs, or recruited med school graduates by offering loans tied to a commitment to practice in that region. But even those ideas will do little to help our immediate problem.
The need for psychiatric care in our region is not going away. If anything, the Affordable Care Act may make the need increase as more people get insurance and seek care.
We urge the leadership of Bassett to partner with other stakeholders in the mental health community to seek creative solutions to this troubling problem.