It would be best to remember that a psychiatrist is an M.D. or medical doctor specializing in mental health issues such as anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, eating conditions, and ADHD.
At the same time, psychiatrists can specialize in particular medical conditions, which is an important consideration to remember.
Therefore, they must undergo medical school and obtain practice certification. Besides, another important consideration is to complete four years of residency training in psychiatry. Generally, they spend a more extended period in school than other mental health experts.
However, the degree allows them to prescribe medications to people with numerous problems.
Tips for Becoming a Psychiatrist
The process starts with a college, which means you should obtain a GED or high school to ensure the best course of action. You should follow these steps to reach your desired goals:
- College – It is essential to remember you do not need a specific education to enter a medical school. However, you must pass at least one year in general chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, and organic chemistry. The higher GPA you achieve, the higher your chances are to enter a medical school.
- Medical School Entrance Exam or MCAT – You should know that the next step is to take this exam which features four sections you should handle, including chemical and physical foundation of biological systems, biochemical and biological foundations of living systems, reasoning, and critical analysis skills, biological, social, and psychological behavior foundation.
- Graduate Medical School – The next step is to handle four years of medical school. The higher grades you have, the higher are chances you will obtain a better residency.
- Become a Licensed Doctor – As soon as you finish medical school, you should apply for a license in the state you reside in. It is vital to choose an area where you wish to complete a residency. The steps include taking a state’s board exam andadditional requirements such as background checks, among other things.
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- Psychiatric Residency – Remember that residency will last at least four years, depending on your preferences and needs. Throughout the process, you will learn how to diagnose and treat a wide array of mental health issues in medical settings.
- Get Board Certification – It is vital to get certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Even though obtaining this certificate is an option, most professionals will choose to get it because it is the simplest way to reach more patients. You should also pass an examination and renew the certificate each decade.
- Additional Licensing Requirements – Some states require doctors to complete further education credits to ensure the best course of action and get the license.
How Long Does It Take?
Everything depends on individual needs and requirements. Some people will require a longer time to handle everything than others. Other people tend to take time off after graduation to study for the MCAT, while others can complete it right after college.
If we assume that you will not take breaks and graduate in the preferred timeline, you will need to pass four years of college, four years of medical school, and four years of residency.
Since the overall number of years for reaching a certification is twelve years, the youngest age for a psychiatrist to start practicing is thirty years of age.
Can You Become a Psychiatrist Without Medical School?
It is vital to remember that you do not require a psychology degree to reach a certificate. In most cases, people choose to go to pre-med or a similar major. However, you must finish medical school to become a mental health expert.
If you wish to treat medical conditions and do not want to go to medical school, you can choose psychology or therapy. Still, if you are interested in medical aspects of mental health, you should think about going to a med school instead.
Visit this website: https://www.nami.org/Home to learn more about national association of mental health.
Of course, you can start with additional specialties that require extra training. Everything depends on the thing you wish to get, but it is vital to research each step along the way before you make up your mind.
It will require more than twelve years, but you will achieve a sub-specialization to become an expert in a particular field of mental health medicine. That way, you can easily open a private practice to reach specific patients.