A psychiatrist is a type of doctor who majors in the diagnosis and treatment of human mental problems like depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, etc.
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Whereas many psychiatrists do, not all of them specialize in treating one particular kind of or a set of mental health problems.
To become qualified for professional practice, a psychiatrist must finish their medical education and four-year residency psychiatry training. Compared to other professionals that specialize in mental health treatment, psychiatrists spend a longer time in school. Due to their medical qualification, they can administer psychotropic medication as a form of therapy.
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Requirements to Become a Psychiatrist
For psychiatrists, their educational journey begins with college. This means that if you plan to become a psychiatrist, you need to get your GED or finish high school education.
After this, you should take the following steps:
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Finish Your College Studies
To get into medical school, you will need to finish your college education. No specific degree gets you into medical school. Many medical schools need prospective students to take and pass for one year in physics, calculus, organic chemistry, general chemistry, and biology.
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If you want to meet all of these fundamental requirements, you can get your pre-med major. If you have a high GPA, you can readily be accepted by any medical school. Applicants should try to meet the average GPA requirement of 3.71.
Take your MCAT Exam
MCAT is the exam that enables you to get into medical school. To become accepted, you need to score an average point score of 511 out of a total of 528 points. The exam contains four different segments and lasts for seven and a half hours.
Send in Your Medical School Application
Next is the application for medical school. If your application is accepted, your professional journey to becoming a psychiatrist has just commenced.
Finish Your Medical School
Aspiring medical students typically spend four years in medical school. If you get high grades in medical school, you can increase your chances of getting an excellent residency.
Apply for Your Doctor’s License
Next comes the stage where you send in your application to become a licensed and registered doctor. This could be done in the state where you prefer to practice or where your residency was completed. This means that you have to sit and pass the state board-organized test.
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Finish up Your Psychiatrist Residency Program
Lasting for four years, you will be taught about the medical treatments of numerous mental health problems. This takes place in a clinical environment.
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Get Certified with the Psychiatrist and Neurology Board of America.
This board certification isn’t mandatory; however, lots of psychiatrists prefer to become certified. This means sitting for the board certification examination. Successful candidates will have to renew their certifications every once in ten years.
Acquire All Other State Licensing Needs
Many states mandate doctors to finish a particular amount of professional development credits to maintain their license.
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What Is the Total Time Needed to Become a Practising Psychiatrist?
The time needed to become a full-fledged psychiatrist differs for everyone. Some people spend a long time in college than other people. Some other people invest some more time to prepare for their MCAT exams. In rare events, some students can become college graduates within a shorter time.
Presuming that an aspiring psychiatrist never took any break. If they graduate within a regular timeline, becoming a psychiatrist from their high school graduation will be as follows:
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- You will spend four years in college
- You shall be in medical school for four years
- You will need four years of residency training
- Overall, you shall spend about 12 years in total before you begin your professional work as a psychiatrist.
What Is the Cost of Becoming a Psychiatrist?
Depending on your choice of school and its location, this average cost differs. Other factors that affect this includes your living costs and if you applied for a student loan.
Averagely, students who are not residents in the states of their school can spend tuition of up to $23,890 every year, this total up to $95,560. However, this cost excludes that of student fees, food, books, and accommodation.
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For psychiatry residencies training, the student can earn close to $60,800 every year. However, due to the workload of some expertise, particular residents may appear underpaid.
Like all college graduates, many psychiatrists try to pay up their college debts with most of their first paychecks. Based on reliable information, a psychiatrist trained in the USA earns a yearly average of about $256,000.
Do I Need a Degree in Psychology to Be a Professional Psychiatrist?
You are not required to have a degree in psychology to become a full-fledged psychiatrist. People who decide to go for their medical education select biochemistry, pre-med, or any related primary course that is not necessarily psychology.
However, to become a psychiatrist, you have to attend medical school. Those who like to treat mental health problems and do not like to participate in medical school have other alternatives. Instead of becoming a psychiatrist, they can become psychologists or therapists.
Others who prefer the medical aspects of people’s mental health can choose to become either a psychiatric physician assistant or a psychiatric nurse.
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Furthermore, there are other sub-domains in psychiatrists, which may need further training. This specific career path depends on the chosen sub-domain of psychiatrists. Doctors that are fully aware of their sub-domains in psychiatrist should carry out their residencies in the actual domain.
Requirements Needed to Become a Psychiatrist in the UK, USA, and Canada
If you know the process of becoming a psychiatrist in any one of these countries, you get a general idea of the global requirements. Because most other regions are just combinations and permutations from the provisions of these three pivotal countries, Canada and the USA have similar professional psychiatry career processes.
However, there are just two primary exceptions. In Canada, there are 17 medical schools, and only 11 of these need the MCAT. Also, Canadian residences are not four years, but five years. Canadian psychiatrists have to be registered through a provincial college or the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
In the UK, the educational system makes this career path slightly different. Students send in their medical school applications after high school. In the UK, medical school lasts for either 4 or 6 years.
After this, students go for their foundation training. This is similar to a medical residency, and the student is paid for it. This foundation training lasts for two years.
Furthermore, students need to undergo three more years of training in core psychiatry. This would be followed by another three years of training in higher psychiatry.
Psychiatrists are well respected in society. They help people who are mentally on the fringes regain their mental health back. Most people wonder what it takes to become a psychiatrist. It requires lots of training and academic grooming.