The need for psychiatrists is rising faster than any other type of doctor, according to a medical recruiting firm, but few physicians are choosing to specialize in the mental health field.

The recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins says that requests for psychiatrists grew 47 percent between April 2009 and March 2010. This news comes as fewer medical students are choosing to specialize in psychiatry compared to other areas of medicine, which often pay more.

Meanwhile, many psychiatrists are retiring, creating dire shortages. In Iowa, for example, a number of hospitals have shut down their inpatient psychiatric units.

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Demand isn’t likely to let up anytime soon. Government projections suggest that the need for psychiatrists will grow nearly 20 percent from 1995 to 2020, while the demand for child psychiatrists is expected to jump 100 percent, reports USA Today. To read more click here.