How to become a psychiatrist

how to become a psychiatrist

Job description: What does a psychiatrist do

The specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, or “psychiatrist” for short. He is a trained doctor and medical expert for diseases of the psyche. He differs from the psychologist in that he has a medical degree plus five years of specialist training. The professional profile includes the diagnosis and treatment of emotional conflicts and disorders of feelings, thinking, experience or behavior what you need to know about the diverse job description of the psychiatrist, his salary, tasks, and training.

The main tasks of a psychiatrist are the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. These include psychoses, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, or neurological disorders. Addictions, eating and behavior disorders, or dementia also fall into his area of ​​responsibility.

Before psychiatrists begin treatment, a thorough medical history and diagnosis are essential. To do this, psychological and neurological disease patterns must be recognized and defined. Psychological and neurological test procedures and intensive one-on-one discussions with those affected (which do not necessarily have to take place on a couch) serve as support.

Another essential part of working as a psychiatrist is documenting the course of treatment. You need to create accurate medical reports and precisely record the services provided and the successes and relapses. All of this requires a lot of patience and empathy. A trusting relationship with the patient is an indispensable prerequisite for severe judgment.

Psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist – the differences

The terms and job descriptions psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychotherapist are often used synonymously. But that’s wrong. The tasks and competencies differ significantly depending on the profession:

What does a psychologist do?

A psychologist studied psychology. However, the completed degree does not entitle you to treat people with mental health problems or illnesses or prescribe medication. For this, psychologists must first qualify with further studies. With a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, however, there is the opportunity to make a business career (marketing, advertising). Psychologists are also welcome to provide advice.

What does a psychotherapist do?

It is primarily psychotherapists who use various therapies to treat psychological problems. The following are used, for example:

  • Depth psychological psychotherapy
  • Behavior therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Occupational therapy

What does a psychiatrist do?

The psychiatrist primarily investigates the medical and organic causes of mental illnesses. He is the only one of these three professions to prescribe medication and to carry out physical examinations. A psychiatrist can also work as a medical psychotherapist. But that rarely happens. Most of them work closely with psychotherapists.

Education: how do you become a psychiatrist

To be allowed to work as a psychiatrist, you must first complete a medical degree. Medical studies are exhausting. Anyone who decides to do this has to do a lot of research. The medical course is structured in these three parts. Incidentally, a good knowledge of Latin is no longer required for most medical courses. These are taught in the so-called terminology module in the basic course.

After studying medicine, the specialization follows: If you want to become a psychiatrist, you now have to complete another specialist training and graduate with a “specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy.” Future psychiatrists gain insights into neurology, child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine.

As part of this training, various previous experiences can be counted towards the training period. For example, up to six months in internal medicine, general medicine, neurosurgery, or neuropathology. Up to a year in forensic psychiatry. A further two years of training can be completed in the outpatient area. For all prospective psychiatrists, the training ends with the specialist examination.

Salary: How much does a psychiatrist make

Psychiatrists are among the top earners in the US – like all doctors. In the course of the career and with increasing professional experience, the salary also increases. At this level, the salary is freely negotiable with the employer.

Map of psychiatrist salaries

The darker areas on the map show where psychiatrists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

how much does a psychiatrist make
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $148,330
  • Median Annual Salary: $189,000
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $207,000

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employer: Who is looking for a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists mainly find jobs with four employers:

  • Hospitals
  • University clinics
  • Specialist practices
  • Research and Teaching

Most psychiatrists either work in their practice or a hospital. In the latter, shift, emergency, and on-call duties are standard at night, on weekends, or on public holidays.

Anyone with an own practice that makes independent must also allow commercial and administrative activities. The work-life balance in the job profile, on the other hand, is not always balanced. In their everyday work, psychiatrists are sometimes confronted with serious clinical pictures. The patients’ experiences sometimes get deeply under the skin, which is not always easy to put aside at the end of the day.

Jobs for psychiatrists

You can find job offers for psychiatrists today, mainly in online job exchanges. As expected, the need for psychiatrists in the US is greatest around metropolitan areas.

Career Opportunities: The Prospects As A Psychiatrist?

As in almost all medicine areas, there is also a massive shortage of skilled workers among psychiatrists. This is also related to an increase in mental illnesses in the population. Particularly in psychosomatic medicine and child and adolescent psychiatry, the demand is high and the supply of experienced psychiatrists low.

Career path in the hospital

Those who start their career in the hospital as a psychiatrist have a clearly defined career path. It leads from the assistant doctor to the senior physician to the deputy position and finally the senior chief physician.

Career path in a specialist practice

Those who prefer to work in a specialist practice have the option of opening their practice. At the same time, a career as an expert in research and teaching is also possible.

How to write a resume for a psychiatrist job

This profession has many career opportunities. The design also matters in the resume. It must look professional and legible. You can create your design or do it easily with our psychiatrist resume template. To give it a more visual and attractive touch, you can choose to include color. If you do, try to keep it a discreet tone.

How to become a psychiatrist
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How to become a psychiatrist
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