Previous studies are reviewed and new data are reported which document a decline in the percentage of American medical graduates choosing psychiatric careers. Data on absolute numbers are conflicting. While 7 percent of graduates from 1945 to 1964 and 6.4 percent of graduates from 1965 to 1970 chose psychiatry, only 5.3 percent of graduates of the classes of 1975 and 1976 did so. Available data for more recent medical classes indicate that further decrements will occur. Possible explanations and strategies for research are briefly outlines.