Primary care physicians, followed by psychiatrists, topped a list of 20 most in-demand medical specialists, according to a report from physician search firm Merritt Hawkins. The firm tracked its physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments and found that it was retained to conduct more searches for psychiatrists in the past year than in any other period in its 27-year history.

The federal government has designated 3,968 whole or partial counties as Health Professional Shortage Areas for mental health, defined as areas in which there is fewer than one psychiatrist per 30,000 people.

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