Despite not being one of the highest paid of medical specialties (although it still pays quite well), psychiatry draws many eager students who seek interesting opportunities in clinical practice and research. Working with the minds of others provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about yourself in the process, and also allows you to work in a rewarding and challenging career – and to be well paid for it.
Make no mistake: if you choose to pursue a career in psychiatry you will have to study fiercely, and for no little duration. But if this is the career path that’s right for you let us show you how to become a psychiatrist.
How to Become a Psychiatrist: Undergraduate Degree
An Undergraduate degree is a standard requirement for students who intend to apply to medical school. In order to successfully apply, you’ll need to have high scores in the following subjects: the Natural Sciences, English, Math, and various Humanities courses. It also helps to choose Psychology as your Undergraduate major, though you are under no obligation to do so. But no matter what else you do, make sure you keep your grades as high as possible, and study diligently, since you’ll need to know your material backwards and forwards to pass the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).
How to Become a Psychiatrist: Medical School and Residency
Choosing the right medical school is an important step in acquiring your degree as a psychiatrist. It will take your four years to acquire your degree. During that time you will be studying theory, doing lab work, and participating in clinical training. You’ll be studying in a broad range of disciplines under the guidance of experienced professionals, and working toward being able to undertake a residency.
Once you complete your medical degree you will be able to take your residency. Competition for these is fierce, and since it’s mandatory that you undergo a period of residency before you can be certified as a trained psychiatrist you’ll need to maintain high grades. As stipulated by The American Psychiatric Association (the APA), a psychiatric residency must be completed over a period of no less than 36 months. During your residency you will also be required to practice and study internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, neurology and emergency care in order to acquire a more rounded medical education.
There are 14 psychiatric specialties. As a psychiatrist you are free to choose your specialty once you have completed your training. The specialties you can choose from quite varied in their nature, ranging from specialties such as forensic psychiatry to addiction psychiatry and everything in between. If you’re going to specialize than work as a clinical psychiatrist, you’ll need to undergo an extra year of training in order to be certified and gain the additional knowledge you will need to practice your specialization.
How to Become a Psychiatrist: Last Step
Once you’ve undergone all the required training, you need to acquire your license so you can begin practicing. You will be able to acquire the requisite license from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Now that you know how to become a psychiatrist you’ll need to do some research to find out which medical school is right for you. You can use this website to help you make that determination. Choose carefully since you’re planning for your future. Good luck!