Over the past few years, child and adolescent psychiatrists have experienced a surge in demand due to the pandemic’s impact on children’s mental health. While many parts of the country have suffered from a shortage of child and adolescent providers for many years, the disruptions of COVID-19 have led to an unprecedented mental health crisis. Only last year, the surgeon general declared a national emergency for child and adolescent mental health.
Given this landscape, there are ample opportunities for child psychiatrists to provide help to patients across the U.S. With so many career and development opportunities, it’s critical for you to choose the position that is the best fit for you and your goals.
However, finding a fulfilling, flexible, and impactful job as a child psychiatrist can be difficult. That’s why, we’re here to help you get off to the right start and set yourself up for success (while preventing burnout). Read on to learn how you can find the best culture, setting, and organizational fit for you.
Finding the right care setting for you
There are some environments and work settings that will always have a high demand, like outpatient mental health centers, for example. Many providers go into outpatient care because of their interest in child development. With outpatient work, you can often see a child until they’re an adult and cultivate a long-term relationship with them.
Knowing what type of child and adolescent patient population you want to work with can help you narrow in on what care setting will work best for you.. However, this insight might develop over time. As you go through your career, clarity about whether you want to provide care for a specialty population, a specific age group, or specific diagnoses will become clearer. You might even have a good idea of your preference as early as your residency or medical school rotations. While you’re still early in your child psychiatry career, it’s okay to not have it all figured out yet.
Finding a good organizational fit
Securing a good organizational fit with a telepsychiatry vendor should be one of your biggest priorities as a child psychiatrist. By finding the right fit, you’ll be well positioned to deliver high-quality services to your patients while achieving long-term job satisfaction. However, finding the right position is more than just getting a spot on someone’s team.
When it comes to finding the right position for you at a healthcare organization or telepsychiatry company, asking detailed questions about the systems already in place for their clinicians is key to understanding the type of support and resources you’ll have available.
Here are four questions to ask your next employer to determine whether they’re a good fit for you:
- What support structures are available? Knowing what support structures are available to you is crucial to understanding how a given organization treats their providers. Support at a company or organization can look like having someone available to answer your questions, providing equipment for your practice, or even offering PTO and other benefits to their providers (we provide all of that and more for our Iris clinicians).
- What is the organization’s turnover rate? A high turnover rate can be a red flag indicating the organization is not meeting their providers’ needs – or, for a telepsychiatry company, making suitable matches for their providers. A low retention rate can raise questions about the workplace culture and values.
- Who is responsible for licensing, credentialing, and malpractice insurance? These administrative tasks can seem daunting to do alone. Working with an organization that handles or supports these tasks can make your work life a little easier, giving you time back to be the best child psychiatrist you can be. At Iris Telehealth, we tackle all the licensing, credentialing, and burdensome administrative work so our providers can focus on what they love most – providing exceptional care to their patients.
- How does placement work? Here at Iris, we provide matches based on experience, schedule preferences, prescribing philosophies, personality match, and much more.
How telepsychiatry can set you up for success
Telepsychiatry can help close the mental health care gap in rural areas for adults and children alike. For some youth experiencing mental health conditions or increased stress, it can be difficult to access appropriate, effective mental health care.
However, especially early in your career, it is important to learn how to use telepsychiatry effectively – whether or not you’re interested in a position as a full-time telepsychiatrist.
If you are using telepsychiatry with your patients, these tips can help you effectively provide care to your patients:
- Establish parameters with parents. When working with children and adolescents, it is vital for child psychiatrists to ask parents to agree to confidentiality rules before treating their young patients. Confidentiality is key to providing effective treatment as it can help build a relationship between you and the patient. The same expectation for confidentiality for in-person visits should be adhered to during virtual appointments.
- Check in with the child and parents. It is not safe to assume that adolescents are immediately comfortable with telepsychiatry, even if they are accustomed to technology through video games or social media usage. By checking in with them to see how they’re feeling about this modality, you can alter the method of care as needed and build a strong relationship with your patients.
- Adjust your camera setup. It can be helpful to zoom in and out with your equipment to observe kids play. By having the same vantage point as if you were in the office, you can provide better care.
Resources and training opportunities
Continuing medical education (CME) is important to facilitate life-long learning as a provider. By developing your skills and expanding your knowledge as a child psychiatrist, you can improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Here are some resources that can help you as you continue your journey as a child psychiatrist:
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Telepsychiatry Toolkit: This toolkit covers a broad range of topics related to the implementation of mental health services for children and adolescents. Some areas include legal and safety issues, setting up your practice, telepsychiatry with children and adolescents, and working with special populations.
- AACAP’s Online CME Courses: The AACAP offers multiple self-study courses that can help your individual educational needs through videos and lectures. They also provide a test to gauge your learning.
- Medscape’s CME Learning Center: Medscape offers a comprehensive list of resources for child and adolescent psychiatrists. Various topics include telehealth, clinician burnout, management, and providing care to specific populations.
How Iris Telehealth can help
At Iris Telehealth, we take provider placement very seriously. Our matching process is set up to make sure you get placed at the best healthcare organization for your long-term goals, patient preference, and schedule. Your dream job could be here at Iris Telehealth.
We provide equipment, 24/7 tech support, CME credit, and malpractice insurance for our clinicians to support and help them thrive. In addition, we connect our clinicians with providers who can offer long-term career advice. Contact us today to see if our telepsychiatry services are right for you.