Psychiatrists are responsible for the demanding task of diagnosing as well as treating patients who are suffering from the mental health disorders. If you are looking to pursue a career as a psychiatrist, other than having the state licensing & certification, you are needed to complete 4 years in medical school and 3 or 4 years in psychiatric residency. Although becoming a psychiatrist might be a bit challenging, there are so many advantages to it which makes it among the highest paying careers today. In this article, we are going to look at everything you need to know about a psychiatrist career.
What is a Psychiatrist Career?
Psychiatrists are basically medical doctors. They are responsible for assessing and treating mental illness where they focus on operating with certain populations. You will get some psychiatrists who mainly focus on the technical part psychiatry by aiding companies assess mental health for their employees. A psychiatrist works in different settings such as hospitals, the government offices as well as mental health clinics. It is also possible to find them taking positions in the research-based universities. You therefore realize that their working hours differ as per the job setting.
How to Become a Psychiatrist?
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree
If you are looking to become a psychiatrist, an undergraduate course in biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics will be mandatory for admissions. Although all bachelor’s degrees are acceptable, going the science discipline way gives you proper preparation in the medical school. Volunteering at hospitals or clinics also helps you gain hands-on experience in the field.
- Pursue a Medical Degree
It is mandatory to attend 4 years in a medical school to get your medical degree. Here, you are going to be introduced to the basic anatomy and pathology both through lectures and the hands-on labs. The classes cover psychology, ethics as well as medical laws. Essentially, you learn the basic skills, behaviors as well as practices on how to become a physician.
- Complete a Residency
After you get the medical degree, one is needed to complete a residency in clinics or hospitals. Most residency programs will take up to 4 years combining didactic learning & practical application. One also gets training in several disciplines like neurology and forensic psychology. Under supervision, you might be able to treat issues like anxiety, sexual dysfunction, psychosis, substance abuse among others.
- Get a License
Obtaining a license is mandatory before practicing as a psychiatrist in any state. However, different states have their licensure requirements. All the same, you’ll need to pass an exam which tests your knowledge about state regulations as well as medical practices.
- Board Certification
Although board certification via ABPN is voluntary, getting the certification demonstrates the competence you have. That could also improve your chances to get employed. Board certification will be valid for 10 years. Renewing your credentials calls for maintaining a proper standing in your profession.
Key Responsibilities of a Psychiatrist
- Analyzing and evaluating patient data & test. This will help to diagnose the nature and extent of the mental disorder.
- Prescribing, directing, and administering psychotherapeutic treatments to treat the mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
- Gathering and maintaining patient records, among them social & medical history from relatives and other professionals.
- Counselling outpatients as well as other patients amid office visits.
- Design personalized care plans with different forms of treatments.
- Examining or conducting laboratory tests on patients to provide information about the general physical condition or mental disorder.
What Are the Advantages of Being a Psychiatrist?
- Helping Others
The most crucial advantage of becoming a psychiatrist is helping others in a professional and devoted way. Psychiatrists will get patients suffering from the mental health conditions related to substance abuse, depression, traumatic experiences and even hereditary disorders. In most cases, the gratification gotten from helping others will be rewarding.
- Working Environment
Psychiatrists work in varying environments such as psychiatric hospitals, state institutions, and even mental health clinics. A psychiatrist might also be called by corporations to treat survivors in suicide cases. Any place a psychiatrist works will be calm and private for the patients comfort.
- Financial Stability
Being stable financially is the next benefit of becoming a psychiatrist. Reliable sources reveal that the average salary annually for psychiatrists is $163,660. However, this figure is going to vary depending on the specific environment that the psychiatrist is employed.
- Job Security
The same case with the other medical fields, getting a psychiatrist career also provides job security. Reliable sources revealed that psychiatry was ranked 24th among the 50 excellent jobs in America. There were so many job aspects factored in among theme being pay, job growth as well as life quality.
Psychiatry similarly affords several growth opportunities, advancement as well as recognition from the profession. You will get psychiatrists who advanced to teach in the university and also mentoring students looking to get into the field.
The career will often be associated with stress given that a lot of time is spent with the mental illness patients. It involves so much listening and analysis. An average psychiatrist will spend between 6 and 8 hours for sessions trying to listen to them as they express their frustrations. This might be mentally or physically draining trying to find solutions for other people’s problems.
As you treat people having behavioral issues, there are so many unpredictability associated with the mental illnesses. A psychiatrist is normally exposed to physical threats since most patients place blame on the doctors. The psychiatrists aren’t skilled on how they should deal with stalkers which makes it dangerous for doctors.
- Balancing between work and life
One of the biggest disadvantages of becoming a psychiatrist is balancing between work and the personal life. The task of bettering patients life and mental assessment might spill over into their personal time at home. As such, they leave their chores at home to take care of their patients.
The Bottom Line
We have finally come to the end of the highest paying occupations review and it is our hope that you have learnt a lot. Psychiatry is generally a worthy career, but it will need the individual to focus and also have some innate sense of patience and empathy. It is possible to get psychiatrists who approach diagnosis & treatment in a structured way. However a good psychiatrist is the one who knows when to change or maybe stop treatment.