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Dr. Shailesh Bobby Jain Hopes to Increase the Number of West Texas Child Psychiatrists Through a New Fellowship Program

Dr. Shailesh Bobby Jain is head of a new fellowship program that intends to increase mental health resources for children and families in West Texas.

The program is an expansion of Texas Tech University Health Services Center's existing child psychiatry  program in the Permian Basin, made possible due to partnership with Midland Development Corporation.

The funding from Midland Development Corporation allows the program to see patients from all walks of life, including those who rely on Medicaid and Medicare. The program also offers a sliding scale fee.

Dr. Jain explains that as more young families move into the Permian Basin, it's important to increase available psychiatry resources, especially for children. Currently, many end up traveling to other cities like El Paso or Dallas to receive psychiatric care.

"At present, there is a very acute shortage of competent child psychiatrists in the West Texas area right now. We may have three or four, including myself, board-certified psychiatrists in West Texas," he says.

The program requires an additional two years of specialized training to become a child psychiatrist.

Dr. Jain hopes the fellowship program will begin in July or August, once another psychiatrist is recruited. "This is a very timely investment, I would say, in the future of the West Texas area in terms of psychiatric care and psychiatric well-being of the community," he says.

Although the fellowship program has not yet begun, adults and children can seek psychiatric care through the existing program at Texas Tech Physicians of the Permian Basin.


Diana Nguyen is a reporter for Marfa Public Radio.