A pathway to become a psychiatrist is not a easy path to walk on and requires a lot of dedication from your side. It requires at least 12 years of education and in those 12 years, you have to work hard. It is known that psychiatrists are certified medical professionals who analyze and cure all sorts of disorders. They prescribe medicines and make a use of several psychiatric techniques to cure mental disorders. The techniques they use are psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
A career in the field of psychiatry requires undergraduate degree, a medical degree and residency training.
The first step in the pathway to become a psychiatrist is an undergraduate program. The career towards psychiatry starts in the undergraduate school. In the undergraduate school, you get a bachelors degree that is needed to get admission in a medical school. Students can consider to opt for their majors in psychology but it is not mandatory in an undergraduate school. Irrespective of the majors, students shall take courses like biology, physics, chemistry and natural sciences so that have all the prerequisites necessary for the medical school.
To increase the chances of being admitted into a medical school, prospective students can volunteer local hospitals and health centers and get some experience. This increases the chances of getting in the medical school.
Prospective psychiatrists shall then get a medical degree from a medical school and shall get the same training as doctors do. The medical school will require 4 years to be completed and during these 4 years, the students will learn all the basic courses of medicine. The 4 years are divided in a way that the first 2 years require lab preparation and classroom training and the next 2 years require clinical training with the help of senior doctors. The courses to do in the medical school are anatomy, pharmacology, pathology and physiology. Students even learn to diagnose patients and hold medical exams.Several universities are offering programs to get psychiatrist degree online.
After a student is done with the medical school, he enters the final phase of becoming a psychiatrist. The final phase is a completion of residency training. The residency training is of 4 years and it offers the aspiring psychiatrists a paid clinical training in hospitals and health center. According to APA (American Psychiatric Association), after the completion of the first year, the students shall complete 3 years and learn all the topics like psychopharmacology, psychopathology, behavioral therapy and substance abuse issues. An optional thing to do is to look for a subspecialty like geriatric psychiatry, addiction psychiatry or psychosomatic medicine.
Get the License
It is requirement by the APA that the psychiatrists have to get the license from the state in order to start practicing as a psychiatrist. Every student has to clear the state exam in order to be licensed to start career as psychiatrist. To be able to prescribe medicines, the students shall also get the license from the narcotics department and get themselves registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.