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Become A Psychiatrist

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Working As A Psychiatrist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $182,290

    Average Salary

What Does A Psychiatrist Do

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They often counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

There are two types of physicians, with corresponding degrees: M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Both use the same methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, but D.O.s place additional emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic (whole-person) patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care physicians, although they can be found in all specialties.

Duties

Physicians and surgeons typically do the following:

  • Take a patient’s medical history
  • Update charts and patient information to show current findings and treatments
  • Order tests for nurses or other healthcare staff to perform
  • Review test results to identify any abnormal findings
  • Recommend and design a plan of treatment
  • Address concerns or answer questions that patients have about their health and well-being
  • Help patients take care of their health by discussing topics such as proper nutrition and hygiene

Physicians and surgeons work in one or more specialties. The following are examples of types of physicians and surgeons:

Anesthesiologists focus on the care of surgical patients and on pain relief. They administer drugs (anesthetics) that reduce or eliminate the sensation of pain during an operation or another medical procedure. During surgery, they are responsible for adjusting the amount of anesthetic as needed and monitoring the patient's heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing. They also work outside of the operating room, providing pain relief in the intensive care unit, during labor and delivery of babies, and for patients who suffer from chronic pain. Anesthesiologists work with other physicians and surgeons to decide on treatments and procedures before, during, and after surgery. 

Family and general physicians assess and treat a range of conditions that occur in everyday life. These conditions include anything from sinus and respiratory infections to broken bones. Family and general physicians typically have regular, long-term patients.

General internists diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a range of problems that affect internal organ systems such as the stomach, kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. Internists use a variety of diagnostic techniques to treat patients through medication or hospitalization. They work mostly with adult patients.

General pediatricians provide care for infants, children, teenagers, and young adults. They specialize in diagnosing and treating problems specific to younger people. Most pediatricians treat common illnesses, minor injuries, and infectious diseases, and administer vaccinations. Some pediatricians specialize in pediatric surgery or serious medical conditions that commonly affect younger patients, such as autoimmune disorders or chronic ailments.

Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs) provide care related to pregnancy, childbirth, and the female reproductive system. They treat and counsel women throughout their pregnancy and deliver babies. They also diagnose and treat health issues specific to women, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, hormonal disorders, and symptoms related to menopause.

Psychiatrists are primary mental health physicians. They diagnose and treat mental illnesses through a combination of personal counseling (psychotherapy), psychoanalysis, hospitalization, and medication. Psychotherapy involves regular discussions with patients about their problems. The psychiatrist helps them find solutions through changes in their behavioral patterns, explorations of their past experiences, or group and family therapy sessions. Psychoanalysis involves long-term psychotherapy and counseling for patients. Psychiatrists may prescribe medications to correct chemical imbalances that cause some mental illnesses.

Surgeons treat injuries, diseases, and deformities through operations. Using a variety of instruments, a surgeon corrects physical deformities, repairs bone and tissue after injuries, or performs preventive or elective surgeries on patients. Although a large number perform general surgery, many surgeons choose to specialize in a specific area. Specialties include orthopedic surgery (the treatment of the musculoskeletal system), neurological surgery (treatment of the brain and nervous system), cardiovascular surgery, and plastic or reconstructive surgery. Like other physicians, surgeons examine patients, perform and interpret diagnostic tests, and counsel patients on preventive healthcare. Some specialist physicians also perform surgery.

Physicians and surgeons may work in a number of other medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. The following specialists are some of the most common examples:

  • Allergists (specialists in diagnosing and treating hay fever or other allergies)
  • Cardiologists (heart specialists)
  • Dermatologists (skin specialists)
  • Gastroenterologists (digestive system specialists)
  • Ophthalmologists (eye specialists)
  • Pathologists (specialists who study body tissue to see if it is normal or abnormal)
  • Radiologists (specialists who review and interpret x rays and other images and deliver radiation treatments for cancer and other illnesses)

Physicians work daily with other healthcare staff, such as registered nurses, other physicians, medical assistants, and medical records and health information technicians.

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How To Become A Psychiatrist

Physicians and surgeons have demanding education and training requirements. Almost all physicians complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and, depending on their specialty, 3 to 7 years in internship and residency programs.

Education

Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor's degree, and many have advanced degrees. Although no specific major is required, all students must complete undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English. Students also take courses in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, some students volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain experience in a healthcare setting.

Medical schools are highly competitive. Most applicants must submit transcripts, scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and letters of recommendation. Schools also consider an applicant’s personality, leadership qualities, and participation in extracurricular activities. Most schools require applicants to interview with members of the admissions committee.

A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last 6 or 7 years.

Students spend most of the first 2 years of medical school in laboratories and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, medical ethics, and the laws governing medicine. They also gain practical skills, learning to take medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses.

During their last 2 years, medical students work with patients under the supervision of experienced physicians in hospitals and clinics. Through rotations in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery, they gain experience in diagnosing and treating illnesses in a variety of areas.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators. They must be able to communicate effectively with their patients and other healthcare support staff.

Compassion. Physicians and surgeons deal with patients who are sick or injured and may be in extreme pain or distress. Physicians and surgeons must be able to treat patients and their families with compassion and understanding.

Detail oriented. Physicians and surgeons must ensure that patients are receiving appropriate treatment and medications. They must also monitor and record various pieces of information related to patient care.

Dexterity. Physicians and surgeons must be good at working with their hands. They may work with very precise and sometimes sharp tools, and mistakes can have serious consequences.

Leadership skills. Physicians who work in their own practice need to be effective leaders. They must be able to manage a staff of other professionals to run their practice.

Organizational skills. Some physicians own their own practice. Strong organizational skills, including good recordkeeping, are critical in both medical and business settings.

Patience. Physicians and surgeons may work for long periods with patients who need special attention. Persons who fear medical treatment may require more patience.

Physical stamina. Physicians and surgeons should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or turning disabled patients. Surgeons may spend a great deal of time bending over patients during surgery.

Problem-solving skills. Physicians and surgeons need to evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer the appropriate treatments. They need to do this quickly if a patient’s life is threatened.

Training

After medical school, almost all graduates enter a residency program in their specialty of interest. A residency usually takes place in a hospital and varies in duration, generally lasting from 3 to 7 years, depending on the specialty.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require physicians and surgeons to be licensed; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license, candidates must graduate from an accredited medical school and complete residency training in their specialty.

All physicians and surgeons also must pass a standardized national licensure exam. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board. 

Certification is not required for physicians and surgeons; however, it may increase their employment opportunities. M.D.s and D.O.s seeking board certification in a specialty may spend up to 7 years in residency training; the length of time varies with the specialty. To become board certified, candidates must complete a residency program and pass a specialty certification exam from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

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Psychiatrist jobs

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Psychiatrist Demographics

Gender

Female

53.9%

Male

42.1%

Unknown

4.0%
Ethnicity

White

70.4%

Asian

11.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Unknown

6.1%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.9%

Russian

14.0%

French

11.6%

Czech

7.0%

Romanian

4.7%

Chinese

2.3%

Mandarin

2.3%

Hebrew

2.3%

German

2.3%

Lithuanian

2.3%

Urdu

2.3%

Slovak

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%
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Psychiatrist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.7%

Yale University

8.7%

University of California - San Diego

5.8%

New York University

5.8%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.8%

Johns Hopkins University

5.8%

West Virginia University

5.8%

Michigan State University

5.8%

University of Kentucky

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

Emory University

4.3%

Harvard University

4.3%

Wayne State University

4.3%

Georgetown University

4.3%

University of Iowa

4.3%

University of Cincinnati

4.3%

New York Medical College

4.3%

Syracuse University

2.9%

College of New Jersey

2.9%

University of South Florida

2.9%
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Majors

Medicine

31.1%

Psychology

9.1%

Nursing

7.7%

Literature

7.3%

Social Work

6.3%

Business

5.2%

Clinical Psychology

4.2%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Mental Health Counseling

3.5%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Biology

2.8%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Management

1.7%

Family Therapy

1.7%

Human Services

1.7%

Law

1.7%

English

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

Public Health

1.4%

Osteopathic Medicine

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

35.2%

Doctorate

24.9%

Masters

19.4%

Bachelors

15.3%

Certificate

2.1%

Associate

2.1%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Real Psychiatrist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Lake Charles, LA Jul 25, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Donaldsonville, LA Nov 07, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Lake Charles, LA Nov 07, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Alexandria, LA Nov 07, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Kenner, LA Nov 07, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Donaldsonville, LA Jul 25, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Kenner, LA Jul 25, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist Seaside HCBS, LLC Alexandria, LA Jul 25, 2016 $626,100
Psychiatrist North Country Transitional Living Services, Inc. Lowville, NY Apr 18, 2016 $525,924
Psychiatrist True Visions, Inc. Lafayette, LA Feb 02, 2016 $521,750
Psychiatrist Imperial County Behavioral Health Services El Centro, CA Jul 01, 2015 $424,636
Psychiatrist Correct Care Solutions LLC Pewee Valley, KY Jun 19, 2015 $375,660
Psychiatrist Imperial County Behavioral Health Services Brawley, CA Jan 07, 2016 $375,000
Psychiatrist Allegheny Clinic Pittsburgh, PA Jul 15, 2015 $360,000
Psychiatrist YRMC Professional Services Group, LLC Yuma, AZ Jan 07, 2016 $228,005
Psychiatrist Ozarks Medical Center West Plains, MO Jan 12, 2015 $227,191
Psychiatrist (SR. Assoc. Consultant) Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Jul 01, 2015 $227,000
Psychiatrist Mayo Clinic Waycross, GA Jul 15, 2015 $227,000
Psychiatrist Aiken Regional Medical Centers, LLC Aiken, SC Jan 01, 2015 $225,000
Psychiatrist Deaconess Hospital, Inc. Evansville, IN Nov 20, 2015 $225,000
Psychiatrist Prospect Chartercare Sjhsri, LLC North Providence, RI Jul 25, 2016 $225,000
Psychiatrist Richmond State Supported Living Center Richmond, TX Aug 16, 2015 $225,000
Psychiatrists Bexar County Hospital District San Antonio, TX Jan 07, 2016 $199,992
Psychiatrist Dept of Veteran Affairs Medical Center Oklahoma City, OK Jan 03, 2016 $199,970
Psychiatrist Southwest Network Phoenix, AZ Jul 27, 2015 $197,000
Psychiatrist Sheppard Pratt Physicians, P.A. Owings Mills, MD Oct 24, 2016 $196,500
Psychiatrist Sheppard Pratt Physicians, P.A. Towson, MD May 07, 2016 $196,500
Psychiatrist Mark David Levine Md Psychiatrists Professional Modesto, CA Jun 01, 2015 $196,500
Psychiatrist Fulton State Hospital Fulton, MO Jul 01, 2015 $195,435

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Top Skills for A Psychiatrist

AdultPsychiatryMentalHealthClinicPsychiatricEvaluationsMedicationManagementCrisisInterventionTreatmentPlansSubstanceAbuseDisordersDiagnosisEmergencyChildSocialWorkersPsychiatricCareLocumPrivatePracticeElectronicMedicalRecordsMedicineAlcoholPatientCareGroupTherapyPsychiatricDisorders

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Top Psychiatrist Skills

  1. Adult Psychiatry
  2. Mental Health Clinic
  3. Psychiatric Evaluations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conduct psychiatric evaluations and provide consultation services and treatment of individuals.
  • Provided psychiatric evaluations, care, and treatment, including medication management to diverse patient population of private psychiatric practice.
  • Assist psychiatrists with patient concerns including medication issues and crisis intervention.
  • Collaborated with treatment team, including ARISE Psychiatrist, Case Managers and Parent Partners to develop and implement treatment plans.
  • Developed Laboratory Utilization guidelines with Medical Staff Developed Benzodiazepine Prescribing guidelines with Medical Staff Founded and chaired Community Emergency Services Committee.

Top Psychiatrist Employers