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Psychiatry salary still lower than other specialties, but steadily increasing

Despite an estimated 44.3 million Americans age 18 and older who suffer from a mental disorder in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and a growing need for mental health services, physician numbers and compensation levels for this specialty remain lower than for others. Still, psychiatrists have something to get psyched about: Their compensation increased an average 5%-12% in 2005 (see Psychiatry salary trends 2003-2005, p. 5 of the PDF of this issue). "Psychiatry salaries are starting to jump a bit," says Rob Rector, senior vice president at Atlanta-based Pinnacle Health Group (PHG), a national recruitment firm. Although placement results-not precise statistical measures-drive the recruitment figures, these numbers often portend salary trends.