Becoming a Psychiatrist

The world is not the same place which it used to be a few decades ago. The stress level among the people have gone up significantly, thanks to the high standard of living, demands from the job and huge competition between the firms and individuals to outwit each other. It has become very common for people to collapse physically and emotionally and more often they need the help of a Psychiatrist to recover and revive.

Educational Requirements: There are several steps to become a Psychiatrist. Apart from academic qualifications and experience, a Psychiatrist must have strong verbal and written communication skills, leadership abilities, organizational strength and empathy to strike an emotional chord with the patients.

  1. Training at Undergraduate School: The initial training begins at an undergraduate school. The students of Psychiatry may opt for Psychology as a subject, but this is not mandatory. Any additional course in natural sciences, will also be advisable.
  2. Earn a Medical Degree: After completing undergraduate course, aspiring Psychiatrists must undergo the medical school training like other senior doctors and physicians. The entire duration of the course is four years. The first two years are devoted to classroom education, while the remaining two years are spent in clinical experience. During medical school training, courses may include pharmacology, anatomy, physiology and pathology. Students also learn to conduct medical tests and diagnose patients during the last part of the training.
  3. Gain Residency Training: After completing medical school training, the Psychiatrists must get four-year post-doctoral training in residency programs. As per the procedure of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the first year will include general medical residency, while the remaining three years would be devoted to learning psychopathology, psychopharmacology, cognitive behavioral therapy, drug abuse disorders and trans-cultural psychiatry.
  4. Licensing: The Psychiatrists must obtain license by passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination. They should also acquire a federal narcotic license and register themselves with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
  5. Certification Program: It is advisable for the professional Psychiatrists to obtain voluntary Board Certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. This is the final step to be completed after becoming a Psychiatrist to add credentials to the profile.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Diagnose the problems of patients
  • Prescribe medicines and refer patients to psyco-analysis treatments
  • Schedule treatment methods
  • Consult other medical professionals to make the treatment accurate
  • Review patient’s physical and mental condition, analyze past history, diagnose mental disorders, check behavioral patterns etc.
  • Prepare the files and records of patients
  • Follow the guidelines and laws prescribed by the competent authorities
  • Make observations and suggest the best possible treatment.

Salary & Wages: The starting salary of a Psychiatrist is $85,000 per annum. The average salary stands t $125,000 per annum. A Senior Psychiatrist may get up to $1,85,000 per annum.

A Psychiatrist is required to read the body, mind and emotion of a person and guide them to get out of stress and trauma and return to the mainstream with full energy. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. But, they play a key role in changing the lives of millions.