How to become a Psychiatrist

Discussion forum for all medical education issues, including residency programs, medical schools, etc.

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:40 am

Glenn,

If I previously said that majoring in psychology was a bad idea, then I need to clarify, as it isn't a bad idea. You should major in whatever field you like. If I said something about majoring in a field other than psychology, I was probably saying that you will learn all you need to know about psychology and psychiatry during a residency program in psychiatry, and you should major in whatever field you find most interesting. Majoring in psychology won't help you get into a psychiatry residency, but it won't hurt you either. If you really like psychology (which most psychiatrists do) and there are a lot of psychology courses at your college you want to take, then it makes sense to major in psychology.

Bottom line - don't change your major unless there are other courses you want to take. Your major really makes no difference as to your chances of getting into medical school or a particular residency. Your major should reflect your personal interests. The only other potential factor in selecting a major that gives you other career options if medical school doesn't work out for you.

I know virtually nothing about the medical system in London so I'm sorry that I can't help you on that one. The medical systems are different throughout the world and I'm sure that you would have to do special tests and meet extra requirements to train in another part of the world from where you ultimately want to work. Make sure you get information from someone who knows the two systems.

Best of luck.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby kimsmarkin » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:11 am

I am interested in becoming a psychiatrist. I would like to know more about the schooling after high school. Basically any information you have about school and just being a psychiatrist would be much appreciated .Information on schools in the Chicago area is preferred. Just tell me everything about the life of an aspiring psychiatrist.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
kimsmarkin
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:54 am

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:55 am

kimsmarkin,

The very first post in this thread has a summary of schooling after high school. There are many schools in Chicago - both for undergraduate education as well as medical school. If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby lover j » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:50 pm

Hi. I am a junior in high school. I want to go into the field of Psychiatry, but I don't know what college is good for me to attend and what minors I should take. What should I do?
lover j
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:41 am

lover j wrote:Hi. I am a junior in high school. I want to go into the field of Psychiatry, but I don't know what college is good for me to attend and what minors I should take. What should I do?


I would suggest you attend the best college for you - which means the one that has the best academics, but also consider cost, location, and class sizes. It is preferable if the college is known to have success in having graduates get into medical school. You'll want to make sure they offer the required pre-med science courses, and preferably in a curriculum meants for students interested in applying to medical school.

You can major / minor in anything you want.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Freyaya » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:56 am

Hello there,

I'm a sophomore in high school, and I realize that I'm a bit younger than everyone else asking about Psychiatry here, but I've found that even in my Psychology class, I'm taking more notes than any other class and really focusing all my attention on it, especially the more scientific aspects of it. My question is this: In college, are there different classes for Psychology itself and then other classes for Psychiatry? Or is it that there's a general medical course that, from there, you choose the Psychiatry major in medical school?

My other question regards actual colleges. I use College Board to search for colleges, but not many seem to cater to Psychitatry, while several cater to Psychology, which ties in with my other question about whether taking Psychology as opposed to Psychiatry in college will affect the outcome.
Freyaya
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:48 pm

Freyaya,

You should check out this thread on high school students interested in psychiatry.

I believe your questions should already be answered there, but if not, feel free to post in that thread.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby deliz0214 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:23 pm

Hi guys,

It seems to me that one of the posts submitted has 2 different areas related to the medical field confused. Now, do not confuse psychology with psychiatry. Though closely related, to become a psychiatrist you MUST be a medical doctor first. Psychologists on the other had ARE NOT medical doctors. In order to be a psychiatrist you must first graduate as a medical doctor and attend a 4 year of residency in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications to treat psychiatric conditions. Psychologists study behavior and help people to cope with their situations, but are not able to prescribe medications unless they do a post-doctorate degree in neuropsychopharmacology, which is accepted in some states and gives them the ability to prescribe medications. Note that the post-doctorate degree is about 2 more years of study. Currently I am trying to become a psychiatrist myself. Will graduate medical school this coming June thus will be applying to residency as I speak. Hope this was useful and if you have any more questions write me at: deliz_0214@live.com
deliz0214
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby qureshimran » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:08 pm

Keep up the good work, guys! really informative and intellectual posts.
qureshimran
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby ecas » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:11 am

Hi i am currently a senior in high school and i want to become a psychiatrist. I feel as though i am hindered somewhat from the fact that I absolutely hate and suck at math and I am planning on probably going to Ohio University which is known more for its partying than its academics. I know i can work my ass off for something i truly want but, i just do not know if it will be enough. Should i still try and become one?
ecas
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:48 am

ecas,

You are lucky that math is not the most important subject as far as getting into medical school. In fact, many medical schools don't even have a college math requirement to get accepted. There was a recent thread here about math requirements in medical school.

The courses required by almost all medical schools includes: biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. If you don't do well in those science classes, then getting into medical school will be a big challenge.

As far as where you go to college - as long as you do well, and you score well on the MCAT, you should have a reasonable chance of getting into medical school somewhere. While this is just my opinion, in my experience, where you go to college doesn't matter as much as your grades and test scores for most medical schools. The only times I've heard it making a difference is when applying to the very top level medical schools.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby ecas » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:48 am

Thank you very much, that is actually very helpful. Much appreciated to give me your time. Also, just out of curiosity, what is your take on private practice v.s. say working in a hospital? Any preferences or pros and cons?
ecas
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:51 am

There is an old thread on inpatient psychiatry compared to private practice. I don't think I have much new I can add.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby princess11 » Fri May 27, 2011 9:27 pm

Are the studies n the path really difficult of being a psychiatrist? :?:
princess11
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Mon May 30, 2011 4:26 am

princess11,

The studies to become a psychiatrist are very challenging. Pre-med coursework is challenging for most people. Most students who are smart enough to get into medical school, though, are able to do pretty well in the basic science courses. Medical school is challenging for most medical students, and the curriculum for a psychiatrist is no different than any other medical field from surgery to dermatology to pediatrics. Medical school is the same. It is challenging mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Work-load during residency for psychiatry depends on where you do your residency. Some can be extremely challenging, but there are probably some programs that are not too bad. In general, psychiatry residencies are probably not as rigorous as most other residencies. However, that does not mean they are not challenging.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby soffijosheph » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:25 am

I like the information. It is important and very useful for my brother because he want to be a Psychiatrist.
soffijosheph
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:30 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Swordfish17 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:48 pm

Hello i'm 17 almost 18 i took my GED and started college a year early. I'm really considering becoming a psychiatrist because not only does the study catch my fancy but i feel i could contribute alot to the field and help alot of people. Now i'm enrolled in a JC currently but i've found this distance learning college that is totally accredited and you basically max out on CLEP tests and then at the end transfer all your credits to a school that accepts them and you take distance learning classes til you graduate. Statistics show that you can get your BA/BS in like 2-3 years. Now i'm wondering is this a good was to go they have pre-med classes you can take but alot of the studying you do at home. I'm just wondering is this a better route to go or should i stick with the more traditional route on my way to become a psychiatrist?
Swordfish17
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:06 am

Swordfish17,

I would highly suggest you take the required pre-med courses at a 4 year university. You can probably take the other courses at a junior college.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:03 pm

Ever since I was a freshman in high school it was my dream to become a pediatric psychiatrist. I am now in my second year of community college with a 4.0 GPA and plan on transferring soon (after completing my Associates in Science degree) to a University in my area. I have been doing a lot of research on the educational route to med school, residency etc. For a while I was in debate whether or not it would be better to settle for a career as a clinical psychologist (I know it would be easier and quicker). I read through the forum though and was inspired by a lot of people that I shouldn't settle for what's easier or quicker, that I should pursue my dreams (thanks, guys :). I wonder now though, what is the best major when planning on becoming a psychiatrist? I know it should be something I am interesting in, but it seems to me a major in Bio, Chem, Physics etc would better prepare me for the MCAT?
Also, I read on what you (Dr.Dave) had said pertaining to the final examinations, written and oral, and how it takes about a year. If you don't pass the first time can you retake it, and if so does it cost a lot of money? Thanks!
Guest
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:58 am

Your major does not matter. Medical schools don't really take it into account in who they will accept. I suppose it is possible that if you are a science major that you would be more familiar with some of the material on the MCAT; however, the MCAT only tests you on the material in the required pre-med courses. I wouldn't choose to major in a biology or chemistry just because you think you will be better prepared for the MCAT. Major in a field you enjoy, but one that will also offer you career options if medical school does not work out for you.

As to the final exams, you must be referring to the psychiatry board exams. I don't know what the current pass rate is, but I think they got rid of the oral board exam part since I took my board exams. When I took the boards, there were two parts - a written exam which you had to pass before you could take the oral exam. I would guess the written exam had around a 70-80% pass rate, maybe even higher than that. I think everyone with whom I trained passed the written exam. The oral exam was another matter altogether. I'd guess that had around a 50% pass rate. It seemed pretty random on who passed and who failed as I know several very good clinicians who had to take it a second or even third time before passing the oral exam, yet I know some less than excellent psychiatrists who passed the oral exam the first time. I'm guessing they got rid of it because the results weren't the most consistent (they did try to be as objective as possible in how they scored, but there are so many random factors in a live oral psychiatric exam) and it was very expensive to administer. The board exams were expensive - well over $1000, plus for the oral exam I had to fly to a nearby city, stay overnight, etc.

If you don't pass the first time, you can retake it. Another interesting fact is that you don't have to pass the board certification exam to practice psychiatry. Some hospitals may require it, but most don't, as long as you are "board eligible".
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Dj_brunk » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:15 am

I am confused by all the information I have been reading on the internet. I am planning to pursue a career in psychiatry. I am fully dedicated to the idea, but need some more information. I have recently completed my 4 year degree majoring in Psychology. On some websites I read you have to do pre-med courses, on others I have read you apply for medical school after your 4 year degree. Do you have to attend college for both pre-med and med school courses or just one or the other or both? How many years of school do you have to go through and what schools are required? I apologize if this is a little repetitive, I just get confused by all the different sources and conflicting information.
Dj_brunk
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:02 am

Dj_brunk,

Make sure you are not confusing becoming a psychiatrist with becoming a psychologist.

In order to become a psychiatrist, you have to go to medical school. Medical school is a 4 year graduate school program AFTER your 4 years of college. You need to take the required pre-med college level courses before you can apply to medical schools.

You take pre-med courses in college. you take medical school courses in medical school. So, 4 years college (or in your case maybe longer to complete your pre-med courses), 4 years of medical school, then 4 years of psychiatry residency.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Nina44 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:08 am

I just want to thank you all for your time ! I want to mention that becoming a psychiatrist îs not easy ! The number one thing you must know îs it takes time and long long long hours !
Nina44
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby NicoKren » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:22 pm

Hi!! I'm currently a freshman in college in my spring semester. I am attending a local college, Richard Stockton of NJ, to be exact. It is not the best school in the nation but family problems have put me here. My first question is: Will this hinder my ability to make it into medical school?

I am a psychology BA major currently with a minor in Spanish. I am very interested in pursuing psychiatry and know all about the pre reqs (biology, chemistry, etc). Therefore, I am planning to become a double major of Psych and Bio. Do you think this is a good idea? Or could I change to BS and still be accepted into med school?

In the future, past school and everything, I really dream of being with patients at my own practice. I want to specialize in OCD. I was wondering if psychiatrists are able to interact with patients just as much as psychologists do. Nowadays I hear many people say that psychiatrists only prescribe and talk for a few moments. I am hoping this is not true. I have so many dreams that involve my own practice and I do not want them to be dimnished.

Thank you for your help and kind words!!
NicoKren
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:01 am

NicoKren,

If you get great grades and get good MCAT scores, you should have a good shot, even if your college isn't the best. I would think most medical schools should be understanding of selecting a less expensive college given the high cost of education.

You can major in any field and it won't affect your chances, as long as you take those required pre-med courses. It doesn't help if you have a double major, but it doesn't hurt. Major in a field you enjoy that will also give you career options if medicine doesn't work out for you. It doesn't matter whether you earn a BA or a BS.

As a psychiatrist you have a lot of options of how you want to work. If you want to do mostly psychotherapy, you do have that option. While it may seem shallow, one reason why psychiatrists often focus much of their practice on prescribing medications is because it generally pays better. You can structure your time seeing some patients for psychotherapy and others for medication management, which is how many psychiatrists structure their practice.

Don't be surprised if you find that your interest in OCD will change as you get more training. I have found many different aspects of psychiatry interesting as I've gone through my training and career. Some were topics that initially didn't seem that exciting, but as I learned more about them and met people who struggled with different issues, my interests expanded.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Psychiatrist Someday » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:09 pm

DrDave wrote:Bryanna,

I think you are right to think that your background is a unique path to lead to being a doctor, although I don't see that your experience in and of itself is limiting your options. I think you are also correct in your thinking that taking college level pre-med science classes will be a good test to see if being a doctor is a reasonable choice for you. If you can do well in pre-med level science courses, then your high school experience shouldn't be a major issue to your getting into medical school. In fact, I think your experience in overcoming challenges will be a big asset to you as either a psychologist or psychiatrist, and an admission's board should view it that way as well.


I've been studying intensely on how to become a psychiatrist and I'm finding that maybe I should really consider going to a community college first.
Do medical schools frown on your record of going to a community college? Half of the reason for doing this is that I'm trying to save money too.
Psychiatrist Someday
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Danny1994 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:47 pm

So I am a junior in high school. The thing is I really want to be a psychiatrist and I know I have time to think about how I want to do it but I really don't. I am a duel credit student. I will have an associates degree before I graduate high school next year so I'm going into college as a junior. I really don't know if it is better to get a bachelors degree in psychology or just go straight for all the pre medical stuff and be a pre medical student and get my bachelors in that. I was wondering if one was better than the other. Because of read a lot about both I just don't know which is the best way to go with all this.
Thanks!
Danny1994
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:37 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:09 am

Danny1994,

There is no such major as "pre-med". Pre med just means taking the required classes to apply to medical school. You can major in psychology and take the pre-med courses, although I don't know how much flexibility you will have as you'll be entering college as a junior. You'll have a pretty busy schedule and I'm not sure how you can time taking the MCAT with your pre-med coursework as most people take the MCAT their junior year so they can apply during their senior year. You won't have enough of the pre-med coursework done your junior year, unless you took some of it as part of your associates degree. In general, it is recommended to take the pre-med science courses at a 4 year college, so I can't recommend taking them before you enter college.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Guest » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:28 pm

I'm a freshman in high school and as of right now my grades aren't doing so good. I think i might even fail this year :cry: The only class i've ever really excelled in is science. I know i'm going to have to do a lot better in all of my other classes if i ever want to become a Psychiatrist when i get older, and i REALLY do want to become one. Does the fact that i might not pass this year effect my chances? Will they hold this against me in any way? I'm just not sure how that sort of thing works. If it doesn't effect my chances and i could still possibly become a Psychiatrist, i assume i would become a board certified Psychiatrist between the ages of 30-32 (depending upon how i do in high school and if i decide to attend college for 4 years or 5 years.) Am i right? What exactly is the reason people attend college for 5 years? Do you take more classes? And does it make them any more qualified than those who only attend for 4 years?

I feel that i'm asking stupid questions :oops: but the only way you learn is by asking questions, and i would really like to have all this much needed information. Also, i'm only a 15 year old freshman. I'm trying my hardest! :mrgreen: I would also just like to just thank everyone on this page for giving so much helpful info! I know more now about becoming a Psychiatrist than i ever have before. And if there are any alternatives to the standard plan to becoming a Psychiatrist, could someone let me know? I know i have to work very hard in school, but i was just wondering if there was an easier way to go about it? Are there any extra classes i can take? Is there college classes that i could possibly take for preparation while i'm still in high school? Is there ways that i could become a board certified Psychiatrist sooner? I wouldn't think that there is, but it can't hurt to ask! :D

Thank you!
Guest
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:56 am

Guest,

If you are struggling with your high school grades, you need to make that your first priority. You need to do your best to get solid grades in high school in order to get into a decent college.

There is no short cut, and instead of finding out if there are college classes that can speed things along, you need to focus on doing well in the high school classes you are required to take.

You have a lot of time before you need to worry about your career choice. Make sure you do as well as possible in high school as that will give you the most career options later on.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Cari » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:05 pm

Hi, I don't know if this has already been answered or not so if it has, sorry.
But anyways, I was wondering if it was possible to still be able to become a psychiatrist if you took two years of schooling at a community college and then transferred to a University (assuming you did well enough), and THEN do your 4 years of med school, and your 4 years of experience/internship etc. I have to do community college for my first two years because it's cheaper and I need time to save up my money in order to at least survive at University.

I'm dead set on becoming a psychiatrist. It's what I absolutely want to do, so if CC conflicts with that I don't know what other alternative I have.
Cari
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:18 pm

Cari,

You certainly can go to community college and then transfer to a four year university, and then go to medical school. The only recommendation I would make is that you take the required pre-med courses at the four year university. In general, medical schools strongly prefer pre-med coursework be completed at a four year university and be the equivalent of the science classes someone in that major would take. In other words, take the same general chemistry course that is required for chemistry majors, and take the biology course that biology majors have to take.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Cari » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:34 pm

DrDave wrote:Cari,

You certainly can go to community college and then transfer to a four year university, and then go to medical school. The only recommendation I would make is that you take the required pre-med courses at the four year university. In general, medical schools strongly prefer pre-med coursework be completed at a four year university and be the equivalent of the science classes someone in that major would take. In other words, take the same general chemistry course that is required for chemistry majors, and take the biology course that biology majors have to take.


Ah that's a relief! In that case I'll be just fine. Thank you!!! :D
Cari
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Martha5 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:51 pm

Hello, I am getting my BA in Applied Behavior Science and than I was told to take my masters in another field like Psychology. and than my DRs and I would be on my way to becoming a Psychiatrist.And how i feel like i was told wrong. and adivce? Martha
Martha5
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:29 am

Martha5,

I'm not sure what you mean by DRs - is that some sort of exam? You don't need to obtain a masters degree. You would apply to medical school once you've completed all of your pre-med coursework and taken the MCAT.

You can major in any subject and still go to medical school and then do a psychiatry residency.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby yesyesyes » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:04 pm

Hi, I would love to become either a psychologist or a psychiatrist. However, I am really bad at memorizing. I do decently well in Chemistry class, but in biology class, I did not do "well." Do you think I should become a psychologist, rather than a psychiatrist, because it seems like in medical school, I will have to memorize tons of things... Also, psychiatrists earn much more than psychologists do. Do you think it will be worth it for me to have all these stress because I have to memorize so much and earn a lot as a psychiatrist? I appreciate your answer!
yesyesyes
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:14 am

yesyesyes,

It really depends. I know some people who were not great at memorizing, but they were "good enough" and smart enough to do fine in medical school. They definitely struggled and had to work harder than others who had much better memories for biology. If you do well enough in college to get into medical school, then you have the ability to do fine in medical school. It is very rare for someone who gets into medical school to fail out. When I have seen it happen, it usually had to do more with personal issues than with the school work being too hard.

When you are talking about chemistry and biology, are you referring to high school courses or college pre-med courses? If you are still in high school, I think it is worth seeing how you do in the college pre-med level classes. You can keep your options open until it is clear to you that the coursework is not for you.

While the general topics are similar and there can be overlap in the types of patients seen, being a psychiatrist is very different from being a psychologist. You shouldn't choose one over the other because of the pay difference, or at least it shouldn't be your only factor to consider.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby yesyesyes » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:38 am

yes, I am a senior in high school.
I'd like to know how the human psychology works and help others fix their problems.
I want to be a person whom people can trust and tell me honestly their struggles, when they don't have any one to talk to.
I want to encourage the hopeless, rebuke the stubborn, and lead them to a better direction in life.
I want to be like... a mentor.
Do you think either psychologist or psychiatrist is a fit for me? If so, which one of the two? If not, what should I consider doing?

Thank you so much!!!
yesyesyes
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:01 am

yesyesyes,

Fortunately, you don't have to make a decision any time soon. You have plenty of time to explore your interests. I think you can probably be happy doing either psychiatry or psychology, or many other fields. I think a lot of what you are describing are great qualities of most teachers as well as therapists.

I think you should try to go to a college that has a good psychology department as well as a good pre-med program. You can take the pre-med classes, and if you don't do that well in biology, you can later decide that medical school is definitely not for you. If you do well in the pre-med classes, eventually you'll have to decide which path you want to take. You'll probably be happy either way but I usually recommend keeping your potential options open until you have to make a choice.

You very well may find that there is some other field that you love while you are in college.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Emma_J » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:39 am

For anyone looking for making a career in Psychiatrist, there is need that he or she should do well in high school to get accepted to a decent college.

• College with duration of 4 years for it is required to take the relevant pre-med courses.
• At the end of 3rd year of college, it is desirable to take MCAT exam, which is desirable to apply for medical schools.
• In the medical school one has to spend additional 4 years. First 2 years are basic science classes while the last 2 years are clinical rotations in which one has to work with doctors and resident doctors of all the major areas of medicine.
• During the last year of medical school, you must go for a residency program in your field of interest. Residency in psychiatry is a 4 year experience.
Emma_J
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:38 am

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:31 am

Emma_J,

Thank you for trying to clarify the requirements but I would like to add a few clarifications. First, you don't need to attend 4 years of college to get into medical school. While almost all medical students did attend 4 years of college, it is not a requirement. I know several doctors who completed college in 3 years.

You say the MCAT is desirable to apply to medical school. I am not aware of any US medical schools that will accept someone without taking the MCAT. I think most people would consider the MCAT is a requirement.

The other information is fairly accurate.
User avatar
DrDave
Administrator
 
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrBubbie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:36 am

Hi DrDave I just started my junior year in high school and I have read through most of the posts and I'm very much focused on making a career for myself as a psychiatrist. I have spoken to an already board eligible and qualified for over 20 years psychiatrist and I would like to ask what the difference is between majoring in science as to majoring in another subject while still taking all of the required pre-med courses?
DrBubbie
 

Re: How to become a Psychiatrist

Postby Latestarter » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:24 pm

DrDave wrote:Junior in HS,

You did provide some accurate information there, but it's not quite complete. I think it's great that you already have an idea of what you want to do with your life, but I would suggest keeping an open mind throughout college and medical school - you might be surprised to find something even more interesting to you than psychiatry.

The other thing to realize is that while you said after college you need to get some experience working in a medical setting, you are accurate - but not complete. You actually need to do well enough in college with your grades and MCAT test scores to get into medical school - which is very competitive. Med school is 4 VERY challenging years.

During your last year of medical school, you apply for residency. Psychiatry residency programs are generally not that competitive, but the top programs are. The residency program is 4 years, during which time you do clinical work under the supervision of other physicians. Parts of psychiatry residency are very hard work with little sleep and long hours. At some programs, the entire residency may be that way. At many psychiatry residencies, you do get a little bit less work the last 2 years - but it is still a lot of time at most programs.

You obviously pay for college. You have to pay for medical school, but most people can get educational loans (lots of them) for medical school. Residency pays around $35k-$40k, which doesn't sound too bad, but based on an hourly rate is probably close to minimum wage. Most people defer their loans throughout that time, but some will start paying them off near the end of residency. With somewhat less work the last two years, some programs will allow residents to do moonlighting work. This type of work can vary a lot, but can pay fairly well. Some very motivated residents have made a decent living, but they were VERY busy.

Once done with residency, you are "board eligible" which means you can work as a psychiatrist at most places. There is then a two step certification exam that takes about 1 year to complete if you are lucky and pass everything your first try. There is first a written exam - multiple choice, typical type of exam, that I believe has around an 80% pass rate. It has a lot of very tough questions as 1/3 of it is neurology and 2/3 are psychiatry. From what I recall, the neurology questions were VERY hard. You have to get a certain percent right on each part to pass. So, if you ace the psychiatry part, you can still fail the exam if you don't get enough right on the neurology part.

The second part of the exam is the more controversial. Once you've passed the written exam, you will get scheduled for an oral exam. The oral exam consists of 2 parts - a video portion and a live patient. For the video portion, you watch a 30 minute video of part of an interview, and then you meet with 2 examiners (I heard it may now go to 1 examiner plus a floating examiner who comes in and out of the various rooms) for a 30 minute test. You are expected to present the patient and then answer questions from the examiners.

For the live patient part of the test, you have a real patient you've never seen before come in the room, and you have 30 minutes to interview that patient. You then have a 30 minute test where you present the case to 2 (now maybe 1?) examiner and then answer questions.

While the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has tried to make this an objective exam. Personally, I think it is an awful test. Not only is it very anxiety provoking which effects some candidates much more than others, but there are many many random factors. The particular patient, the particular examiners, what questions you might get asked and whether they fit in with your knowledge areas or not. Of course, the entire interview is an artificial situation.

I'm not sure there is a better way to test candidates, though - as the ability to interview patients is a vital part of psychiatry. And the field of psychiatry is trying to maintain credibility of the profession - so it is important to make sure board certified candidates are able to effectively talk with patients. Of course, I think this is important for almost all fields of medicine - yet very few other fields require an oral exam. Most of the abilities to interview, present, and understand patients are observed during residency, but I suppose completion of residency does not necessarily mean you are competent. My thought is that just passing the exam doesn't mean you are competent either.

And did I mention that the oral exam has around a 50% pass rate? This is for people who have done well enough in college to get into med school. Have completed med school and matched in a residency. Have completed a residency and passed a challenging written exam.

Your target age for finishing training is probably about right.

Complete High School around age 18, complete college around age 22, complete medical school around age 26, and complete residency around age 30. That's if you go straight through.

More and more people are taking extra time in college (5 years instead of 4), having a career before going back to med school and taking time off during med school (to do things like research or pursue a second degree).

In my case, I happily went straight through the whole process - actually cut one year off of college but added an extra year of residency to do a combined internal medicine / psychiatry residency program. I am very glad to be done with the training aspect of things.

I probably should have broken my answer down into several different threads, but maybe eventually I'll put together one thread of frequently asked questions or something like that.

Thanks for your comments!
.


Hello! Im also a jr in ha needing some advice i dont really have the grades(2.8) to go to the college i want so my counselor suggested that i go to a jr college for 2 years and the one ill be going to has a great transfer program to UC Davis( great medical program there) & i was wondering if me going to a jr college would damage me as is could that effect me negatively in becoming a psychiatrist . I really want to be one it fits me perfectly. Thankyou & what steps do you think i should take .
Latestarter
 

Previous

Return to Medical Education Discussions

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron