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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

A Psychiatrist is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. They treat patients utilizing psychotherapeutic methods and medications.

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.


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.


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


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Russian

  • French

  • Czech

  • Romanian

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Hebrew

  • German

  • Lithuanian

  • Urdu

  • Slovak

  • Hindi

  • Arabic

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Psychiatrist Education


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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


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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