Careers in Psychiatry
Psychiatrists are considered the primary caregivers in the mental health field. Their job consists of diagnosing and treating patients with signs of mental illnesses.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Psychiatrist
The majority of psychiatrists work in physicians' offices, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, general hospitals, and outpatient care centers.
Most psychiatrists work in sall private offices where they can speak confidentially with patient whom they see on an appointment basis.A psychiatrist may make use of a variety of techniques when diagnosing and treating a patient, including therapy, analysis, medication and, if necessary, hospitalization.
With psychotherapy, a psychiatrist has regular discussions with a patient, exploring the patient's issues and helping him or her find solutions to these issues. Part of the goal with psychotherapy is to help the patient change harmful behavior patterns, and discussions often delve into the patient's past experiences. Another technique commonly used by psychiatrists, psychoanalysis consists of long-term therapy and counseling, often including group or family counseling sessions. A psychiatrist may decide to administer medication to a patient to treat chemical imbalances that leading to emotional problems. In more severe cases, a psychiatrist may suggest that a patient undergo a period of hospitalization.
General Requirements and Training
That path to become a psychiatrist is long and rigorous, taking as long as the path to becoming a general physician. Individuals hoping to become psychiatrists must successfully complete a Bachelor's degree, preferably in the sciences, and then gain admission. This is followed by at least four years of graduate school, plus three to eight years of internship and residency.
After fulfilling these basic educational requirements, graduates must obtain a license in order to work legally in the United States. A license may be granted after finishing the obligatory educational requirements, graduating from an accredited school and passing a written and practical exam.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychiatrists is $154,200. Salary.com reports the mid-50% earnings range of psychiatrists to be $158,179 to $202,378.
According to Payscale.com a psychiatrist with one to four years of experience earns an average of $95,756 to $156,469 annually, while a psychiatrist with twenty or more years of experience earns approximately $142,466 to $192,335 annually.