At present about 4% of doctors opt for a career in psychiatry. Between 1974 and 1977 almost a quarter of the consultant posts in general psychiatry remained unfilled; in 1981 there were no less than 220 unfilled consultant vacancies. This shortage is regarded by many as representing a deficiency in quality as much as quantity of applicants. If the consultant grades are expanded in the future to the levels suggested by the Short Report these problems are likely to increase rather than decrease, unless recruitment into the speciality is enhanced.
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