Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Psychiatrists: Goodbye Sons of Freud, Hello Pill Pushers

This NY Times article on modern psychiatry really bummed me out. I need pills, or maybe I need to talk it out. I am not shocked by this as my psych major friends talked of the split between the biological psychology folks and the traditionalists. Go figure that the bio-psychology students would go out, enter the psych field and then push pills. The class action lawsuits for pills that eventually messed with adolescent brains permanently will be coming.

There is something math related that bothers me. The article states how psychiatrists can earn $150 for 3, 15 minute medication visits vs. $90 for a talk therapy session. They later say the median annual compensation was 191K in 2009. Say a shrink has 2080 45 min talk therapy sessions (1 per hour in a 40 hour workweek). That is $187K in salary. Very close to the median amount. Keep in mind that is the median amount across the US. I think $187K is an AWESOME salary in any red state and some lower wage blue states. Utilizing the pill route more could maximize earnings to $312K. Could this mean that shrinks are being greedy and going the pill route to earn more money? Could the shrinks be making a decision on their own to make more money? This is their choice. They do not have to practice in that manner, nor in the NYC metro area. I bet they are, but that would ruin the narrative that somehow health insurance is to blame for this problem. Protect the narrative at all costs!!!!

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