A psychiatrist is a medical doctor whose main specialty is in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses among people. To become a psychiatrist you have to go through medical school and take four or more years in specializing psychiatry. It may take twelve or more years of studying and training for you to become a psychiatrist depending on your area of specialty .Some may specialize in issues to do with marriages, drug addictions or traumatic issues in children. Before students starts enrolling for a course leading to psychiatry they should ask themselves some basic questions like; what are the necessary skills required or whether they have all what it takes to become a psychiatrist.
Job duties of a psychiatrist
Psychiatrists have the duties of assessing the mental status of a patient after which they prescribe and administer psychotherapeutic medications to treat mental, behavioral or even emotional disorders of the patient .They also oftenly hold discussions with their patients to asses how those patients have responded to particular medications. Psychiatrists may either work in hospitals where they answer to the supervisor or may choose to manage their own private practice.
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Psychiatrist education and training
To become a psychiatrist you must go through the following stages in education and training after which you will be able to practice
Psychiatrist bachelor’s degree
For starters, you should earn an undergraduate bachelor’s degree while focusing on pre-med preparation. Taking courses like psychology, sociology, health science or any other related course is relevant for one to become a psychiatrist. You will have to work hard so that your grades are high to qualify for medical school. Getting experiences through voluntary works or internships will help you in your field of psychiatry since you will have being exposed to what psychiatrist do and it may turn out to be easy when you start working.
You will also be required to take the Medical College Admissions Test before applying for medical school. MCAT is a standardized exam whichtests your critical thinking, writing skills;your skills in problem solving and also scientific knowledge that will help you succeed in medical school. The grades of the MCAT exam together with the undergraduate grades will determineyour admission to medical school. Therefore, you have to strive to get good grades in order to succeed in becoming a psychiatrist.
Attend medical school
This is the second step one has to take in order to be a psychiatrist. You will take 4 to 5 years to complete your course in medical school .The first two years you will be focusing on science courses, which include anatomy, biology and other related courses. In the last two years of your course, you will directly be working with health care professionals like doctors. It is during this period that you should apply for residency. Residency is a period in which you are trained according to your area of specialty.
The residency takes four years and you will first spend your time doing general medical rotations. This will be in areas like pediatrics, family medicine, family practice or all of them. After the medical rotations, you will spend some time working on neurology before concentrating on psychiatry for the remaining time in residency.
Psychiatrist license and practice
For you to get a license to practice psychiatry you must pass the state’s exam. In order to practice psychiatry in any state you must have a license. Different states have different requirements one has to meet before sitting for the exam and therefore you should check the requirements for your state.
Get certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Obtaining such certification will boost your chances of employment.
These are the stages of becoming a successful psychiatrist .Strive for the best and work smart if you want to be one.
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Psychiatrist salary information
There are several factors which affect the amount of salary a psychiatrist earns .Some of the factors may include years of experience ,whether you are in private practice or work in a medical facility,the size of the facility, among other factors. According to pay scale, a psychiatrist in a country like the USA earns an average salary of $184,000 per year.