Help in deciding between psychiatry and psychology

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Help in deciding between psychiatry and psychology

Postby realised » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:11 pm

I am a high school senior who's already applied to college. My major is Chemistry with a minor in psychology. All my life I have loved the idea of studying the mind...I threw myself into psychology and later in high school forensics. With this in mind, I was convinced that I would become a forensic psychiatrist. However, after looking through the site, I am starting to think that I should turn to psychology instead. I love psychoanalysis, research, and primarily want to help people talk through their problems. (haha big fan of Freud in some ways) I am interested in mental illnesses as well. I envision myself getting into alternative medicine. I want to work with medications but not primarily, maybe 20 to 30 percent of the time. This probably sounds so mismatched, help please?
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Re: Help in deciding between psychiatry and psychology

Postby DrDave » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:17 am

As a high school senior you have a long time to decide which path you want to take. Most people don't make a final decision on their major until after their Freshman year of college and you won't need to make a decision on psychology vs psychiatry until later than that. Just make sure you start out taking the pre-med classes until you are sure whether you want to attend medical school or not.

As a psychologist, you wouldn't be able to do any prescribing of medications unless you are in one of the few states that allows psychologists to prescribe medications (with the proper training). As a psychiatrist, you have a lot of flexibility as to how much time you want to spend providing psychotherapy vs medication management.

My suggestion is to take your time in finalizing a decision and keep your options open while you are thinking of what you want to ultimately do.
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