Step by step guide to becoming a pharmacist

Psychiatrists work with patients who are dealing with a variety of issues, including trauma, mental illness and addiction. Psychiatrists are considered mental health physicians. Given the in-depth nature of their work, it is no wonder that psychiatrists require a great deal of education – depending upon the specialty, up to twelve years of academic study and clinical training is required to earn a psychiatry degree.

Students interested in becoming a psychiatrist should understand all the educational and clinical requirements, as well as what they will encounter upon graduation. This guide focuses on all the pertinent questions for aspiring psychiatrists, including what they should study as an undergraduate, what skills are required, what the job entails and the credentials required to begin work.

What does a psychiatrist do?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They assess and treat mental illness and often focus on working with specific populations. Some psychiatrists focus on the more technical or research-based side of psychiatry by working in the forensics field or aiding companies and corporations in assessing the mental health of their employees and associates. Psychiatrists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, government offices, private practices and mental health clinics. They might also take positions in research-based universities. Their hours worked vary depending upon the job setting.

What kind of skills are required?

Psychiatrists work closely with a variety of patients on a daily basis and thus must have excellent communication skills, including a top-notch ability to listen and develop a good rapport with patients. Good observational skills are a must, as a psychiatrist should be able to study patient behavior and reactions to medications or other treatments. The job requires a significant amount of patience and compassion, social perceptiveness, and the ability to make judgments and decisions based on both prior and new information.

The steps to becoming a psychiatrist

  1. Complete a Bachelor’s degree program
  2. Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  3. Complete and MD or DO degree program
  4. Complete a residency
  5. Get licensed and board certified
  6. Continue learning