Career as Psychiatrist: All You Need To Know!

Career as Psychiatrist

Choosing the right career is not always a simple task. There are so many choices and the trick is to determine what type of career would suit you best regarding your aspirations, lifestyle, talents, qualifications and so on.

A career choice that can be extremely rewarding on many levels is that of a psychiatrist. If you’ve been considering a career in the medical profession, is becoming a psychiatrist a career that is right for you?

What Does a Psychiatrist Do and What Do They Treat?

Some people confuse the roles of a psychiatrist and psychologist or believe they are the same. While both professions share some similarities, the two career paths are very different.

Psychiatrists are often involved in treating more severe cases of mental illness, while psychologists are more focused on less severe psychological issues and emotional problems. Regularly, a psychiatrist will manage patients that are suffering from conditions such as:

  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Alzheimer’s
  • And more…

The role of the psychiatrist is to assess a patient’s condition, diagnose the problem and then formulate an appropriate treatment plan to help the patient overcome their disorder or improve their quality of life.

Psychiatrists are fully qualified doctors so are able to prescribe medication, admit patients to hospitals and order laboratory tests. 

How Much Money Can You Expect To Make?

The field of psychiatry is not only personally rewarding but is very financially rewarding as well. Qualified and experienced psychiatrists – whether working for a salary or running their own practice – can anticipate a comfortable living and lifestyle.

Once fully qualified as a specialist in Psychiatry you will gain the Fellowship of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, (FRANZCP). As a fully qualified specialist you can expect to be earning in the vicinity of $300k to $450k in the public system in Australia. Many psychiatrists who run their own psychiatry practice will often make much more than this.

If you’re looking for a career in healthcare that’s personally and financially rewarding, then psychiatry might be for you.

How To Become a Psychiatrist In Australia

One of the major differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that to become a psychiatrist in Australia you must first complete a Medical Degree and then spend two or three years working within a hospital rotating through a variety of areas including surgery, emergency and general medicine departments to gain a broad range of medical knowledge and skills before specialising solely in the field of psychiatry. 

Psychologists don’t have to become doctors first, but psychologists also cannot prescribe medication, admit patients to hospitals or order laboratory tests to diagnose a condition. The role of a psychiatrist is more advanced and also a somewhat more revered role due to the medical training required.

Once you’ve completed your medical degree, and completed a few years rotating through various departments within your hospital you can apply to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, (RANZCP) to join the Psychiatry training program. The training program takes a further 6 years of specialised psychiatry training where you will undertake both written as well as clinical exams. Once this training has been successfully completed, you will become a FRANZCP qualified and practising psychiatrist.

Are There Many Job Opportunities for Qualified Psychiatrists?

Psychiatrists are sought after in Australia. Once you are a fully qualified specialist your training and skills will be in high demand.  

Rather than taking the time to look for open positions for psychiatrists on the internet or by other means, psychiatrists seeking work are far better served by joining up with a recruitment agency. Not just a regular recruitment agency, but one that focuses on permanent general practitioner jobs and employment for psychiatrists as they will be able to make you aware of every possible opportunity, in many cases, before they are made public.

Medical recruitment specialists understand the industry and will help make light work of the overall recruitment process. You’ve spent many years training to become a psychiatrist. Let someone else take the time to find you the right job.

The Wrap

Becoming a psychiatrist takes a lot of work and commitment but it’s a career path that is rewarding on many levels.

Read also: Why Take a Psychological Safety Quiz?

Career as Psychiatrist: All You Need To Know!
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