What image comes to mind when you think about psychiatrists?
You might picture someone sitting in a chair, jotting down notes while their patient lies on a sofa and talks to them about their problems.
But is this really what a psychiatrist does?
This Byte will give you the lowdown on what a psychiatrist's job really looks like, and whether or not it might be a good fit for you.
Psychiatry: An Overview
As a psychiatrist, you will contribute to society by helping those who suffer from mental, behavioral, and emotional health problems.
Psychiatrists are a little different from other counselors, therapists, clinical psychologists, or licensed clinical social workers, because they are medical doctors and can prescribe medication.
The Main Tasks Of A Psychiatrist Usually Include:
Meeting with patients to diagnose and treat mental health disorders and prescribe medications
Coming up with complex treatment plans for individuals
Analyzing patient data and records
Working with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, administrative assistants, nurses, physicians, and other therapists
What Does A Psychiatrist's Day Look Like?
Depending on where you work, your daily routine might look a little bit different. Here are some examples for five different psychiatrists.
Miranda works as a psychiatrist in a prison. She also does pro bono work at a local community health center. Sometimes she is called to court as a witness for inmates she has worked with.
Jung-hoon is a hospital staff psychiatrist. He meets with hospital patients who need psychiatric evaluations. He also teaches at the medical school connected to the hospital and mentors psychiatry residents.
Christa has a private practice. She makes her own hours and is more selective about who she treats, focusing on people with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. When she isn't meeting with clients, she keeps track of patient billing and brainstorms new advertising plans.
Blake works at an inpatient substance abuse treatment center. They perform daily rounds to check on their patients, as well as meeting with patients on a regular basis. Blake is also on call for potential emergencies.
Conor is a psychiatrist at a university mental health center. He is part of a larger treatment team that meets with struggling students. Conor also does research in the university's psychology department.
Based on the examples above, which quality do you think is typically most true of psychiatrists?
They like working independently
They are comfortable wearing many "hats"
They want to do the same thing every day
They are motivated by markers of success
An Average Psychiatrist's Salary is...
in the United States
But Is It The Right Fit?
You might want to be a psychiatrist if...
You aren't fazed when people are dealing with serious problems
You have an investigative mind and consider yourself a problem solver
You are willing to put in years of hard work to get through medical school
You are an active listener who likes helping people
You might not enjoy psychiatry if...
You would rather work alone than with people
You struggle to be compassionate towards others when they have problems
You don't have a high tolerance for stressful situations
You don't want to go to medical school
If you've decided psychiatry is a good fit for you, keep in mind the steps you'll need to follow to meet your career goals:
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This Byte has been authored by
higher education instructional designer