becoming a psychiatrist
across the united states, a greater emphasis is being placed on understanding mental illnesses, and finding ways to help patients with these illnesses and restore their health. as a result, professions such as psychiatry are experiencing a surge in growth. the us bureau of labor statistics (bls) expects the profession to experience growth in the years to come. if you want to know how to become a psychiatrist and what the job entails, continue reading our guide to help you make a more well-informed decision.
psychiatrist duties and psychiatry specializations
psychiatrists are responsible for diagnosing and treating mental illnesses in patients, through a combination of specialized techniques. these are:
psychotherapy - regular discussions with patients regarding their problems and modifying behavior over a longer period of time.
psychoanalysis - this is a long-term version of psychotherapy, and the psychiatrist may also recommend medication to help restore any chemical imbalances which may be contributing to the patient's condition.
the psychiatrist may also obtain information by speaking to the patient's colleagues and family, and use this information to analyze the condition the patient is experiencing. depending on your interests, you may choose to work with a particular group of patients. child psychiatrists will tailor their education and training to help children with mental illness, while prison psychiatrists will work with prisoners and help the police by providing evidence of any mental affliction affecting prisoners.
how to become a psychiatrist?
psychiatry is a highly technical field requiring thorough learning and practical training. individuals in this field have to go through 4 years of college before enrolling in another 4 years of medical school. after this, they require a further three to eight years of experience through internships and residency programs. only after this rigorous training can you officially be considered a psychiatrist. most students choose to complete an undergraduate degree in science, covering courses in psychology, biology, physics, and mathematics. additionally, some students choose to take courses in humanities to sharpen their analytic skills. you can also choose to complete a master's degree in psychology if you wish. if students are unable to attend on-campus programs because of various reasons, they have the option of enrolling in accredited online degree programs.
the next step is to gain acceptance into a medical school. over the course of four years, students will take advanced courses in anatomy, biology, and medical ethics; followed by supervised training in a clinical setting. through this combination, you may become comfortable with applying your learning in a practical setting. in order to become a psychiatrist, you will have to choose a residency within this specialty. during your four years in residency, you may be taken through all the sub-specialties of the field. the last step in the process is to obtain a license in order to practice your profession legally. this is done by taking and passing the us medical licensing exams (usmle).