While a psychologist is trained to understand human behavior and help people adapt through counseling and therapy, a psychiatrist is an actual medical doctor with additional training beyond medical school. Becoming a psychiatrist may not be hard if you are dedicated and committed to a systematic process. In addition, a psychiatrist may earn an intelligent amount like other medical doctors.
A psychiatrist generally spends four years completing an undergraduate degree, then four years in medical school, followed by four years in residency. Then, a budding psychologist must be licensed and board-certified, culminating in being a practicing psychologist.
The Role of the Psychiatrist
Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who diagnose and treat severe mental illness. While psychologists tend to work with intact personalities going through temporary emotional issues or life setbacks, psychiatrists often work with those with severe personality disorders, usually those requiring intensive psychotherapy or medication.
The job description of a psychiatrist is varied. Psychiatrists evaluate and diagnose patients for various emotional, personality, cognitive distortions, and mental and behavioral disorders. They provide an in-depth analysis of their diagnosis, looking at the disorder’s origin, nature, and extent.
They can then prescribe medication and begin a regimen of therapy. Psychiatrists can treat disorders as varied as anxiety, depression, developmental disabilities, psychosis, and substance abuse. In addition, psychiatrists can order and interpret lab tests, conduct physical exams, and admit patients to medical or mental hospitals.
Salary and Job Security
According to a study published in Money Magazine in 2009, being a psychiatrist is the 24th best job available. In 2019 the salary report was more than 20% higher. There are currently 20,000 jobs in the field, with an expected growth rate of 14% over the next ten years.
An average, probable annual earning for a psychiatrist is $205,080, but it may differ by professional experience, skills, and designation.
Those in the field of psychiatry reported high job satisfaction, and a feeling of productivity as they contribute to people’s mental health, good job stability, and growth. However, it is important to note that psychiatrists have reported that their job is highly stressful.
The median salary for an experienced psychiatrist is upwards of $199,664 to $249,254 a year in the USA, according to the USA salary report. Some highly skilled and sought-after psychiatry professionals reportedly earn nearly $249,254. Even beginning pay is often over $100,000 a year.
Requirements for Becoming a Psychiatrist
The road to becoming a psychiatrist is a long one, but the rewards at the end are vast.
A student hoping to enter psychology must be dedicated throughout their undergraduate program, earning the grades and knowledge necessary to get into medical school.
At that point, psychiatry students will take the same medical school training as medical doctors, learning all they can about the human body through coursework and cadaver labs.
As with any medical school student, the psychiatrist will take anatomy, biochemistry, ethics, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and psychology courses.
The student will likely have to do an internship in various medical fields, not just mental health. For example, they may spend time in emergency room residency, surgical residency, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Towards the end of their program, the psychiatry student will settle on the field of psychiatry, beginning their residency in that area. Upon completion of the living and certification by all fifty states as well as the American Board of Psychology and Neurology (ABPN), the psychiatrist can finalize the road to becoming a psychiatrist by going into practice either privately, within a hospital, or in a variety of other private and public organizations.
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