A psychiatrist is a physician who helps treat mental disorders of a patient. This article provides information on the basic duties performed by a psychiatrist.
Psychiatrists are medical professional who analyze, diagnose and treat mental disorders. A psychiatrist should not be confused with a psychologist, because both these professionals have altogether different educational requirements and set of duties to perform.
A psychologist treats mental disorders by medical counseling and cannot prescribe any type of medication. A psychiatrist however can prescribe certain medications to treat the patient. Before knowing more on psychiatrist job description, let us take a look at the educational requirements to become one.
Becoming a psychiatrist is not so easy, since it includes extensive study and research. If one wants to pursue psychiatry as career, then the planning should start in the high school days itself. In order to attain admission in a medical school, the student must gain an undergraduate degree.
Usually an undergraduate degree that contains psychology, biology and chemistry as major subjects is preferred. Then, the student has to study in the medical school for 4 years. The completion of medical school education is followed by one year internship and then a three year training at a residential hospital. Then, the student can obtain further education in any specialized field. Finally, the psychiatrist student has to appear for government exams for getting a license to practice as a professional certified psychiatrist.
Job Description of Psychiatrist
He can work in his/her private practice or work with a health institution. Getting hold on the private practice can take time and completely depends on his/her knowledge, skills and work experience. Some psychiatrists also opt for academic career, where they teach the psychiatrist students in a health institute or medical school. As mentioned earlier, a psychiatrist student can specialize in any field of his/her interest. Some specialize at treating children with various mental disabilities while some work with adult patients combating with post-trauma disorders. They can also specialize in forensic psychiatry, where he/she helps in interaction with the accused in case he/she is mentally disabled.
Given below is the list of some of their chief responsibilities.
- Analyze and diagnose the reason for patient’s mental imbalance from the available data.
- Designing and planning the required treatment of the patient by discussing with other health professionals like physicians, social workers, psychologists, etc.
- Prescribe medications or psychotherapeutic treatments to treat the mental disorder of the patient.
- Collect and maintain the patient records to analyze the progress of the treatment.
- Explain the form of treatment and the expected behavior with the patient, to the family members, guardians or relatives of the patient.
- Treat patients with various mental disorders, which can be a minor problem like anxiety to very serious disorder like schizophrenia.
- Analyze the psychiatric history of the patient and attend sessions with the patient to solve the psychological problem.
- May administer electroshock therapy on the patient, if other treatments do not prove to be useful.
This was a summary of psychiatrist job description. The field of psychiatry has several career opportunities with an average annual salary of $154,000. Being a psychiatrist is a very responsible job and demands good intellectual capacity to solve the psychiatric problem of the patient. I hope the information provided will prove useful to you.