2012, Number 4
Salud Mental 2012; 35 (4)
Heinze G, Chapa GC, Santisteban JA, Vargas I
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ABSTRACTThere are few available and reliable data regarding the number and geographic location of psychiatrists in Mexico. It is important to have these data in order to know if the mental health needs of the country are being met. This study is an attempt to update both the current data on this subject by locating the most psychiatrists possible, and also to learn more about how they manage their medical practice.
Methods: Descriptive and cross-sectional study. Several sources available in Mexico were consulted such as Mexican Psychiatry Associations, health care institutions, universities, telephone directories among several others, to locate psychiatrists and to identify where and what kind of practice they have.
Results: According to our several data bases, 3823 psychiatrists were counted in Mexico, 225 of these being child and adolescent psychiatrists. The rate of psychiatrists obtained was 3.47 psychiatrists per 100 000 inhabitants and 0.69 child and adolescent psychiatrists per 100 000 inhabitants under 15 years. 56% of psychiatrists practiced in the Federal District. There are 1.8 male psychiatrists for every female psychiatrist.
Discussion: The number of psychiatrists in Mexico is still below the rate that the World Health Organization recomends. The distribution by gender is shifting towards more equality. Psychiatrists were found to be grouped in urban areas of the country. The number of psychiatrists and child and adolescent psychiatrists seems to be insufficient to cover the needs of the country.