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As a psychiatrist, Christin Drake often turns away potential new patients — there just aren’t enough hours in the day to take on everyone who seeks her out or is referred to her by equally overworked colleagues. Declining to take on new patients pains her, especially when it’s for another Black woman who is looking to find one of the few psychiatrists in her region who shares that identity and experience.

But with the mental health crises brought on by the pandemic and an aging, shrinking population of psychiatrists, the strain on Drake and her colleagues is getting worse.  This week on the “First Opinion Podcast,” she speaks about what’s causing a dearth of mental health clinicians across the country, why it’s so damaging, and what can be done to ease it.


This conversation emerged from Drake’s First Opinion essay, “Amid the nation’s mental health crisis, we need more psychiatrists now.

Be sure to sign up for the weekly “First Opinion Podcast” on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, vocal mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast” in the subject line.

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