Psychiatry mainly focuses on issues regarding mental health. Psychiatrists diagnose issues, treat them and help in preventing behavioral and emotional disorders like depression, anxiety attacks and hallucinations.
Psychiatrists leverage different modalities of treatment that include psychosocial interventions, psychotherapy and medication.
If you’re someone who is highly interested in becoming a psychiatrist, you can’t do without knowing the details of the education, the courses and the degrees required.
Now that you’ve clicked on this post, it can be taken for granted that you must be eager to become one. This is a guide that will tell you about how to become a psychiatrist, including the licensure, educational requirements, specialty areas, salary expectations and much more.
Becoming a psychiatrist will need several years of rigorous study. Psychiatrists are nothing but medical doctors and this means that they visit medical schools after attaining their undergraduate degree.
They also need to complete a residency, undergo two or more years of practice and meet requirements for licensure that vary among states.
Psychiatrist – What is his task?
Career Basics of Psychiatry
Psychiatrists spend a major part of their day handling and speaking with patients. Away from patients, they tend to review treatment protocols and keep constant notes of the progress of their patients.
Psychiatrists work in medical hospitals and they always consult with other professionals to make sure the treatment is being properly followed or adjust the plan as per requirement.
Psychiatrists in rehabilitation clinics meet with the family members of the patient and support group to keep them informed to involve them in the treatment.
Career in-depth of Psychiatry
A psychiatrist’s working hours usually depend on the place of work. Psychiatrists who are involved in private practice see patients during business hours while psychiatrists working in hospitals usually work in shifts. Majority of psychiatrists make themselves easily accessible for emergency consultations outside working hours.
Psychiatrists usually specialize in treating specific illness like depression or addiction. There are some others who develop an expertise in working with a demographic like veterans and children. You can look for a local psychiatrist near me. Many psychiatrists work in more than one setting like hospital visits, private practice and outpatient care clinics.
Salary and Job Growth of a Psychiatrist
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychiatrists make a mean annual salary of $220,430 in the year 2020. Nevertheless, there are few factors that have an effect on the level of salary.
Psychiatrists who work on local governments receive highest salary of around $255,070. There are few top-paying industries like health care services ($253,090), outpatient care centers ($250,230) and residential care facilities ($240,630).
In this field, your experience matters a lot and this has an impact on the earning potential of the individual. As per reports of PayScale, early career psychiatrists or those who have less than a year of experience, earn an average salary of $194,486.
More experienced practitioners earn around $205,504. On the other hand, seasoned and experienced professionals earn higher salaries like $237,315, as recorded in 2019.
The place or the location where the psychiatrist practices also has an influence on the annual compensation amount of the professional. Here are the names of the few states that pay the highest annual mean salaries for the psychiatrists.
- Maine: $273,900
- Arizona: $270,890
- North Dakota: $264,770
- Indiana: $264,260
- Nebraska: $262,580.
An insight into the steps involved in becoming a psychiatrist.
There are several steps to becoming a psychiatrist. Here are the few steps that you need to take to become a psychiatrist.
Complete the bachelor’s degree
The foremost step you need to take to become a psychiatrist is to get your bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution. While you prepare for a medical school, it would rather be a great choice to focus on physical sciences, pre-med or psychology or might be a combination of the three by utilizing a minor or a double major.
You need to know that there is no American college that offers pre-med major but there are some that offer pre-med track including Pepperdine, New York City College of Technology and Georgetown. The programs have intensive lab sessions and include subjects like neurological system, human anatomy and pharmacology.
Take the admission tests of the medical colleges
After the first step, students will have to sit for the MCAT or the medical college admission test. Though medical schools evaluate and check the merit of the total application of the students, a passing MCAT score is the most basic requirement to be considered. Most of the schools take a score of 511 points out of 528 points as an acceptable score.
Complete the M.D. or D.O. Program
Students who get admitted to medical schools get the same basic instructions regardless of whether they’re there to become an M.D. or a D.O. An M.D. offers allopathic treatments for a certain disease ad a D.O. considers the body as a combined entity and hence addresses concerns from medical and lifestyle perspectives.
After medical school, the students have to start residency in a specialty of their own choice. This residency program in psychiatry takes 4 years.
Earn a licensed and board certification
All states will need doctors, including psychiatrists to get a license before they start practicing in an unsupervised manner. Psychiatrists should get certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).
Although the requirements usually vary by state but most of them need doctors to earn a minimum number of education credits to maintain the licensure. The renewal requirements of an ABPN certification depend on the area of speciality of the psychiatrist.
The costs for attending a medical school keeps climbing higher and higher and there are several students who may require financial assistance to be able to afford enrollment. The universities administer financial assistance programs that include scholarships, fellowships and research grants.
The University of Florida offers a forensic psychiatry fellowship through which the recipients get a chance to conduct forensic evaluations that involve guardianship, competency and criminal responsibility. If needed, you should get help of these programs in order to complete your dream of becoming a psychiatrist.