How to Become a Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Psychiatrist
Salaries for Psychiatrists
Influential Professional Psychiatrists
Leading Psychiatrist Organizations
Top Cities for Psychiatrist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Psychiatrist

These are doctors who focus on the prevention, analysis and remedy of mental disorders. Psychiatrists treat people suffering from a wide range of mental conditions; from gentle states of anxiety to serious cases that are potentially capable of resulting in dangerous behaviors and situations. To qualify as a psychiatrist one has to pursue a bachelor's degree followed by medical school training that takes four years. The said degree must be either an M.D. or a D.O. degree from a certified school of medicine or osteopathy. After medical school one has to attend an internship for a period of one year. This is followed by three years of psychiatrist training as a resident in a hospital facility. After one or two years of residential training a training psychiatrist has to sit for an examination that will allow him or her to be licensed. The examination tests candidates on basic sciences, the clinical science of psychiatry, and psychiatric subspecialties. The exam also contains an oral section where the candidates' clinical skills are tested.

Licensing is compulsory in all states. An additional period of training is required before one can sit for an examination that will result in board certification as a psychiatrist. This examination is issued from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and it certifies that the psychiatrist has attained the highest levels of training and education possible in the profession. Psychiatrists who require board certification must possess an unbounded license to practice medicine in the US. They must also adhere to the standards set by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In addition their personal and professional carriage must be exemplary. Certification is renewed every 10 years.

What does a Psychiatrist do?

Psychiatrists are trained to deal with various mental disorders that may either be mild or severe. They work in conjunction with other mental health specialists including psychologists, psychiatric social workers and nurses. Psychiatrists engage in discussions with their patients to find out more about their mental conditions. Additional information about the patients is sourced from the mental health specialists that are listed above and members of the patients' family. These discussions help psychiatrists to determine what the patient is suffering from, i.e. the relationship between mental or physical disorders, and as such an appropriate course of action is decided upon. Psychiatrists make a habit of gathering and maintaining patient information and reports that detail individual patient social and medical histories as gathered from the patient, family and various health workers. Psychiatrists make use of laboratory tests or diagnostic tests to shed more light on the mental and physical conditions of the patients. The treatment options in psychiatric practice include the use of prescription drugs, shock therapy, and psychotherapy. The chosen course of treatment is uniquely individualized. Some of the most common disorders that psychiatrists diagnose and treat include substance abuse, psychosis, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, depression, and developmental disabilities. Psychiatrists liaise with psychologists, physicians, psychiatric social workers and nurses, and other professionals to come up with the most effective courses of treatment for patients and to monitor the progress once treatment is underway.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Psychiatrist?

Dealing with patients who are suffering from various mentally related conditions could be very demanding. As such a psychiatrist needs to possess the requisite communication skills that will enable them to extract as much information from the patients as possible for the purposes of making a correct diagnosis and recommending the best course of treatment. As a psychiatrist one also has to strike a balance between compassion, sympathy, and the resilience to continue helping and treating patients who are experiencing varying degrees of suffering and affliction from their conditions. Professionals in the field of psychiatry have to develop a culture of commitment to the work that they do. Psychiatrists, particularly those who are in private practice, have to be ready to work irregular hours for the sake of their patients. The perfect conditions for psychiatrists to work with their patients are those which are quiet, calm and tranquil since the patients feel more at ease in these setups. Calm sessions are most productive in terms of diagnosis and treatment. One has to be ready to deal with all types of people.

How much do Psychiatrists make?

Based on figures provided in May 2007, psychiatrists earned an average of $147,620. Psychiatrists based in General Medical and Surgical Hospitals earned an average of $148,180. Those in Outpatient Care Centers earned $168,790. Psychiatrists in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools earned $103,950 while those in Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals earned $149,120.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Robert Schulte, MD, is an Arizona based board certified psychiatrist in Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is an extremely experienced psychiatrist in the fields of children and adult's re-psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Rami Kaminski, MD, is the director and founder of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry that is based in New York. The organization reviews current psychiatric services and their interrelation to medicine. He is based in New York. Louis Sanfilippo, MD, is a respected psychiatrist who is President of the LCS Group, a consulting firm. Dr. Sanfilippo is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and he also runs a private practice.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Forensic Psychiatric Associates, headed by the respected Dr. Alberto Goldwaser, is a clinical and forensic practice that has offices in both New York and New Jersey. The firm has been involved in the carrying out of administrative, criminal and civil forensic psychiatric examinations in state, military and federal courts in the US.

What are the top cities for Psychiatrist jobs?

Hiring of physicians in general is expected to experience the fastest growth rate for all sectors of the economy. This is attributed to the expected development of the health sector, a growing population coupled with better learning facilities and higher salaries and wages. Psychiatrists are in large demand in the cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Denver.

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