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If i want to get my PHD, and I am graduating from High School this year, how and when should I begin to study for the MCAT's?

I want to be come a Psychiatrist, hopefully one that specializes in developmental psychiatry. I know that if I must become a psychiatrist i have to go into medical school which of course will take me many years until i get my PHD. I know i have a lot of work ahead of me, and i just want to be sure to know when i should begin that work so that i can efficiently improve on my studying habits and to become better prepared than my competitors. #psychology #pre-med #doctorate-degree #psychiatry #social-psychology #social-science-phd


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Richard’s Answer

In the US, psychiatrists have gone to medical school. It's best to take a summer off between 2nd and 3rd year of college to study for and take the MCAT. Try to take the med school prerequisites before taking the MCAT.

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Estelle’s Answer

Many medical schools have MD/PhD combined programs, This would save you time and money. As everyone else has already explained, you do not need a PhD to be a psychiatrist, but you can certainly get that degree, especially if you are interested in research and/or teaching. That being said, in the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.
You will likely major in psychology, but any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.

During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
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It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.

Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete, but adding the PhD will add 2-4 more years.






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Trisa’s Answer

First, to become a psychiatrist, you need an MD, not a PhD. Psychology may require a PhD. As for the MCATs, don't start studying until your senior year. You will have enough to do with the heavy workload of classes. You seem very focused. you will do just fine!


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Lauren’s Answer

When I entered undergraduate my major was Pre-med and everything was geared towards entering medical school. I changed my major in my junior year and went a different route into Counseling.


Bravo for wanting to pull the non medical, yet clinical application of psychology into your work as a psychiatrist! So I would go for the tougher degree first - medical school. So gear all of your coursework and activities towards medicine with an flavor of psychology. This way, if you happen to enjoy something else more in medical school you have the skills and knowledge to refocus your efforts. Once you have your MD and are a practicing psychiatrist you can then decide (and will have more information) on how much coursework you want to take in the realm on clinical psychology.


I've had friends go for the MD and find they love the mix of neurology and neuroscience with psychiatry, and add a specialty PhD in neuroscience to round out their practice.


Give yourself some room for flexibility and this will allow the best choices for you to appear!


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Rachel’s Answer

To become a psychiatrist, you will need to go to medical school to earn an MD rather than a PhD. This means that you will have to complete college with a bachelor’s degree as well as all of the Pre-med requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). GPA should probably be 3.5 or better (preferably >3.8). You will also have to score well on the MCAT. Once accepted to medical school, as long as you pass your classes and perform reasonably well during your four years of medical training, you can apply for a psychiatry 4 year residency.

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Linda Ann’s Answer

The MCAT's are for admission to medical school; normally you would take them in your junior year (but perhaps after your sophomore year, depending upon the course work completed thus far). Most universities have advisors who specialize in advising students who want to go to medical school. Psychiatrists indeed have the M.D. degree.


The Ph.D. degree requires taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and not the MCAT. Yes, you can obtain a Ph.D. (which is essentially a research based degree) and an M.D. - but you'll be spending most of your young adulthood in school ... psychologists get Ph.D.'s or Psy.D's. Many high school students get these two, closely related disciplines confused.


If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact me directly through LinkedIn. Good luck.


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