Did you ever contemplate the why’s and how’s behind mental disorders like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia? Does the inner-working of the human mind fascinate you so much that you want to know every single detail about it? If you have an interest in people and the way the human brain works, the field of psychiatry may be your calling. A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems, illnesses and emotional disorders. Psychiatry is a very challenging branch of medicine and a student of this specialization is required to work hard and be very dedicated in order to master it fully well. After all, you will have to peep into the psyche of patients and understand the cause of their deep rooted maladies and insecurities and based on this information, you have to provide counseling. For more information on how to become a psychiatrist, read on.
Becoming A Psychiatrist
A potential candidate has to first acquire a Bachelor’s of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S) degree from a medical college. Once done with the degree, the candidate needs to appear for a post-graduate entrance examination to study psychiatry as their subject of specialization. Individuals who successfully pass the entrance exam then go on to acquire a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in three years time. After earning this degree, individuals must complete a 3-4 year post-graduate residency training program in psychiatry.The first year is a medical internship where a student carries out a normal doctor’s duty towards patients with a wide range of medical disorders. The second, third and fourth years offer specialized training in psychiatry.
You should possess extremely good listening skills as you would have to listen to the agonies of your patients.
A good psychiatrist needs to have both hardcore scientific skills and the ability to empathize with patients and gain insights into their motivations, difficulties and sufferings.
As a psychiatrist, you should be able to understand complex information and synthesize it to reach a conclusion.
Psychiatrists must maintain a balance between emotions and professionalism so as to avoid being drawn towards the life of their patients and making invalid decisions.
You must have reading comprehension skills, social perceptiveness and good communication skills as well.
Writing skills, learning strategies and negotiation skills are added advantages for a budding psychiatrist.
Roles And Responsibilities
Psychiatrists need to design treatment programs that can help their patients according to their specific needs, taking into account individual victims’ history and illnesses. Psychiatrists should conduct researches to understand what they are dealing with.
They provide psychiatric treatment to individuals with emotional disturbances and behavioral disorders. The medications usually prescribed for these mental illnesses are very potent and can be lethal if not used carefully and responsibly.
These medical specialists have to monitor the side-effects of medication and adverse reactions, initiate and conduct meetings with the medical and professional staff and discuss important cases.
The demand for psychiatrists is expected to grow at a rate faster than the average. The increased demand for healthcare professionals as well as awareness of mental health issues is expected to spur the demand for highly skilled psychiatrists. Not to mention, these experts can also find employment as school counselors, freelancers and also in rehab centres dealing with substance abuse.
If you are aspiring to be a primary mental healthcare provider, then take out the medical books, pull up your socks and find your way to becoming a psychiatrist!