Where can parents find a child psychiatrist treating bipolar disorder in children and adolescents? That question is the most common question posed to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation http://www.bpkids.org
There are only 74,181 child psychiatrists for the U.S. population of 73,675,6002. So parents drive for hours or have long waits. There is legislation pending to make it easier for child psychiatrists (M.D. with training in drugs) to forgive their medical education costs.
There are a whole bunch of reasons why there are fewer psychiatrists today and likewise fewer child and adolescent psychiatrists. For sure there needs to be more allied health professionals with a solid understanding of drugs and their effects on children and adolescents. And there are ways to encourage other professionals to get appropriate education and training.
It makes sense to broaden drug knowledge for a wider number of health professionals working with children: clinical psychologists, school psychologists, clinical social workers, nurses etc. Why not give incentives to a wide variety of health professionals to get the necessary training?
In California, psychologists must complete 36 CEU’s every two years for re-license. Why not let psychologist write off as a tax credit all costs related to drug education. That likely would spur psychologists to get training in drugs.
Primary care MD’s report that about 20 percent (one in five) children under age 18 have a mental disorder with at least mild functional impairment.