Psychiatry is the practice of diagnosing and treating mental health illnesses. It also happens to be a highly lucrative and in-demand profession in the United States and elsewhere in the world. In the U.S. alone, psychiatrists make an average of $208,000 a year.
Despite its high earning potential, a career path in psychiatry is a difficult one to tread. It can also expose you to so much pressure having to handle different mental health cases each day. Then again, it’s still a goal that’s worth reaching if you have a heart for it.
If you are starting a career in psychiatry or considering a career change as a mental health practitioner, make sure to keep these essential tips in mind:
1. Do your homework first
As with any other career option, you need to find out as much as you can about the field before you start your journey. Apart from your earning potential, you should also consider the amount of training you will need to go through, the certifications and licenses you need to attain, as well as the risks of running your psychiatric practice.
You can also learn about the technologies modern psychiatrists are using, such as telehealth and virtual reality. To be sure, you can ask people you know who are already in the field. Ask them what it’s like to undergo training, handle different cases, and use certain devices for treating addictions and Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Choose a path that best suits you
A career in psychiatry doesn’t just lead to starting your psychiatric practice. It also branches out to different sub-specialties, such as administrative psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and even forensic psychiatry. You can also learn how to become a mental health nurse working under a psychotherapist. Countless opportunities are available, so look for a psychiatric profession that aligns with your skills and personality.
3. Get formal training
If you are sure about your career path, you will now need to get professional training in that field. As a medical specialty, building a career in psychiatry will take you about 12 years to complete. This includes completing a Bachelor’s Degree, a Medical Degree, and a residency program, each of which takes four years.
In addition, you will also need to complete fellowship programs and attend seminars for further enrichment. The training can get grueling and costly, but it’s worth getting the experience and skills you need to become competent in your chosen field.
4. Get a license to practice
If you are looking to start your psychiatric practice, you need to earn a license to do so in your location. In the United States, state licensure exams are mandated by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Before taking these computer-administered exams, candidates for certification must show satisfactory performance during their time in residency. They are also evaluated for their clinical skills, so it’s important to be prepared by learning the parameters the evaluators are using. The only way to succeed is to perform well while in residency.
The journey to a stable career in the field of psychiatry is long and arduous, but if it means forging a high-paying and fulfilling job, then all your hardship is meant for the best.
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.