What Does a Psychiatrist Do? - Video

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who are trained to deal with mental disorders and disabilities. They are the primary caregivers for those dealing with mental illness.

Job Description

Psychiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They are medical doctors who assess and treat patients using techniques such as psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, medication or hospitalization. They are the only mental health professional also licensed to prescribe medication for patients if and when necessary. Psychiatrists must obtain a bachelor's degree in psychology or similar subject and complete medical school. Residency and additional certification and training may also be required, depending on the state these professionals choose to practice in.

Daily Duties

The duties of a Psychiatrist may vary greatly depending on their specialty. Psychiatrists may choose to specialize in areas including: learning disabilities, child or adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, psychotherapy and behavioral medicine. Psychiatrists may perform individual or group therapy sessions. They work with a patients needs and help them find the solutions to change lifestyles, resolve past experiences or overcome dependency. Patients of a Psychiatrist may need help with anything from mild anxiety to severe mental and behavior disorders.

Work Setting

Psychiatrists may work in a clinic, hospital, school or private office. They may collaborate with other physicians and nurses as well. It is typical for these medical professionals to work long hours and work with a variety of patients. They may also be called upon by law enforcement or the judicial system to evaluate the mental state of suspects or criminals. They work most of the day in an office setting, though may travel to make house calls or see patients on location.

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