Psychological exam before becoming a psychiatrist?

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Psychological exam before becoming a psychiatrist?

Postby Audrey Kendall » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:57 am

Ok, I am a married 24 yr old mom of two young boys.I start college online in a few weeks for my BS in psychology. Afterward I plan to do the doctoral program and finally residency if that is correct. It is what all my online research has lead me to thus far. Anyways, my question is about weather or not you have to pass a psychological exam before your eligible to become a psychiatrist. The reason I ask is bc I have demons from a horrible past that don't particularly bother me on a regular, but I do have my down days and I just dont want this to hinder me in the end.
Audrey Kendall

Re: Psychological exam before becoming a psychiatrist?

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:51 am

First off, you are generally describing the path to become a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. A doctoral program is generally for a PhD or PsyD in psychology, and then you would be a psychologist.

In order to become a psychiatrist, you'd need to go to medical school after college, and then do a residency in psychiatry. You can't do a residency without going to medical school.

During training to be a psychologist, you would do an internship, which is different from a residency.

As to your question of needing a psychological exam - the short answer is "No", you are not required to undergo a psychological exam. When you apply for jobs, though, you may get asked if you suffer from a mental or physical illness which may impair your ability to complete work obligations. This could be true regardless of your field of work. That is something you would have to determine, and if you do have a serious mental illness, you would probably be best to discuss it with your treating doctor to see if they believe it is a reasonable path for you.

If you choose to become a psychoanalyst, which is a very specialized field these days, you would need to undergo your own personal analysis, but that is different from what I assume you meant by a psychological exam. Very few people go this route these days, and you don't need to be an analyst to be a psychologist or psychiatrist.

In my experience, the mental health programs I have trained and worked in were very accommodating to individuals with mental illnesses. I have worked with several very talented individuals who had serious mental illnesses and I greatly appreciate the experiences that they were able to share with me and their patients.
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