In May, the Maryland Psychiatric Society sent a survey to members by email and regular mail. The survey is now closed. A total of 186 responded, up from 175 last year. (There were 196 responses in 2018 and 167 in 2017). Following is a summary of member feedback this year.
As before, a large majority of members reported psychopharmacology as their top CME need, along with several other topics including forensics, child & adolescent, substance use disorders and sleep disorders. Almost two-thirds said they are most likely to attend a virtual CME meeting, with in person just over 20% and 15% unsure. For virtual CME, there seems to be no clear preference among respondents for either live or pre-recorded.
Many psychiatrists successfully transitioned to telehealth during the pandemic, so the MPS included survey questions to better understand how this impacted their practice.
- In terms of practice hours, 40% saw no change, and an equal number saw a decrease in hours (25% decreased slightly). Of the 20% who had an increase in hours, the majority had only a slight increase.
- In terms of practice income, 52% have been unaffected by the pandemic, but 43% had a decrease (14% had a significant decrease). Only 5% experienced an increase in practice income.
Members were asked to rank four legislative and advocacy priorities, which all turned out to be about equally important. Insurance Reimbursement and Parity was ranked nearly the same as Access to Care. These were followed closely by Scope of Practice and then Licensure Requirements/Mandatory Training.
Almost three quarters responded “yes” to the question, “If you had concerns about ethical issues in your clinical practice, would you contact MPS for guidance?” The question, “If no, why not?” received three recurring responses, including “I didn’t know that was an option,” “I would ask at my workplace” and “I would consult my malpractice carrier,” among others.
Early Career Psychiatrists (7 years or less following completion of training) were asked about interest in possible new MPS offerings. A total of 42 responded and two offerings were equally appealing: “Free group supervision to discuss difficult cases or practice-related concerns” as well as “Mentorship program for career development.” A significant number were also interested in “Discounted rate for individual supervision with a seasoned MPS member.”
The 2020 survey also kicked off an initiative called “Curbside Conversations,” which will be a member to member resource where a member can request informal assistance from others with expertise in a number of topic areas.
Every year, MPS asks about the overall level of member satisfaction with the organization. Currently 82% are either satisfied or very satisfied, 16% are neutral and 2% are dissatisfied. Influencing how psychiatry is practiced in Maryland and Legislative reports & representation with state government were ranked Most Important by the most respondents, followed closely by MPS News, APA membership, Member rate for MPS CME activities, Having a place to call with questions, The Maryland Psychiatrist and Annual membership directory.
Members shared over 100 concerns about psychiatry in Maryland, some of which are not limited to our state, and also gave suggestions about how the MPS can serve them better. MPS leadership will use their input to guide the organization over the coming year.
Congratulations to survey participants Drs. Kim Bright, Idris Leppla and Charles Peters, who were selected randomly to win a $100 credit toward MPS dues or an MPS event. For more information, including respondent demographics, view the complete results.