How to Become a Psychiatrist

When you are in a place where you are considering a career and thinking about what you want to do, one career that might pique your interest is that of a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a licensed medical professional who is committed to aiding others with regards to mental health and wellness. Unlike a psychologist, which is an intimately related field, a psychiatrist is capable of providing a client with a prescription for medication; as a consequence, this career is one that takes a great deal of time and effort to establish. If you are thinking about how to become a psychiatrist, consider this psychiatrist career overview.

Undergraduate Work

Before entering into medical school, the student must first earn a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is typically earned through a university or a college, and at the end of the day, there are several different degrees that might suit this endeavor. In the first place, a psychology degree is one of the first options. A psychology degree acquaints the student with the many different branches of the field while also offering a view point into what life as a practicing psychologist might be like. However, the student may also go into related fields like pre-med, biology, or human health. The focus of the degree is less important than good performance and a dedication to their work.

If you are thinking about psychiatrist schooling, becoming an undergraduate is one place to start. Similar medical careers start with the same basis, so if you decide to switch somewhere during your academic career, you won’t be starting from square one. A psychiatrist career is a demanding one, and when you are thinking about how to become a psychiatrist, an undergraduate degree is something that you need to consider seriously.

Taking the MCAT for Admissions into Medical School

The MCAT stands for the Medical College Admission Test, and if you want to learn how to become a psychiatrist, this is one of the things to consider. This test is taken when the student is a junior or a senior in their undergraduate career, and the test is one of the major factors that colleges use to decide whether or not to accept the applicant. The test takes between 4½ to 5 hours, and it is composed of four parts. Physical Science, Biological Science, Verbal Reasoning and Written Response are the four sections, and it is important to score equally well on all four. Many students choose to attend classes that are directly related to preparing them for the MCAT.

How to Become a Psychiatrist: Medical School

How to Become a PsychiatristThe next step when you are considering how to become a psychiatrist is medical school. Like undergraduate studies, graduate school requires four years, and it are essential to earning a psychiatrist degree. If you are thinking about becoming a therapist who can prescribe drugs, this is an essential part of your training. Nearly all of the helping professions require medical school, and this is where you are going to really get started with your psychiatrist career education.

Medical school is made up of two parts. The first two years are spent learning from textbooks and lectures, and the other two years are a practical experience, which takes the students to various health centers to learn about their chosen careers. This second part is by far the most important, it involves working in a clinic under supervision. Some of the courses that the person who is becoming a therapist might encounter include physiology and pharmacology. This allows the student to conduct medical examinations and also to diagnose patients. He or she will also learn a great deal about health career profiles, further confirming whether this career is good for them or not.

Residencies and Licensing

How To Become A PsychiatristAfter their term in medical school, psychiatrists then need to spend at least four years in a residency program. During their time in this program, they will be doing paid clinical work in a hospital. According to the American Psychiatric Association, which licenses psychiatrists in the United States, the psychiatrist must also perform 36 months of psychiatric schooling or training as well as working within rotations that include work ranging from emergency care or family medicine. You will also find that there are some programs of study which allow residents to have trained in another clinical specialty prior to transferring to psychiatry.

When considering becoming a psychiatrist, the final step is to become licensed by their state through passing the United Stated Medical Licensing Examination. This exam varies from state to state, and though each state does have its own exam, there are several states that have reciprocity agreements, allowing one state’s certification to stand in for another state. If the psychiatrist wishes to prescribe medication, they also need to acquire a federal narcotics license which is then registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Whether you are in a place where you are considering a psychotherapy degree or you simply want to become a psychiatrist, there is a great deal of information out there available to you. Choosing between the many psychiatry paths can be difficult, but the more research you do, the better off you will be in the long run.

How to Become a Psychiatrist: The Bottom Line

Think about where you want to be and where psychiatry can take you. This is a helping career where you can make a great deal of difference, so think about how to become a psychiatrist and what that means to you.