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Should I take psychology to become a psychiatrist

I thought psychology would be a good thing to study if I wanted to be a psychiatrist but I feel like I should take a harder math major instead #psychiatry #psychiatrists #psychiatric-care #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care #psychology


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Linda Ann’s Answer

Hi Lydia,

Psychology is a good major in college so long as the school that you attend has a strong, pre-med program. One of the sections of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) tests knowledge of the behavioral sciences! It tests knowledge of other scientific disciplines as well: physics, chemistry, biology AND writing proficiency.


A mathematics major will will indeed help you with logical reasoning. It will not, however, provide the necessary coursework for entrance into medical school.


What you need to do now:

  1. Explore the website for the MCAT.
  2. Explore the websites of each of the colleges and universities to which you will be applying. Do they have a pre-med focus? Do they have academic advisors dedicated to students who wish to go to medical school? What is the placement rate for admission to medical school for their graduates? IF this information isn’t readily available from the website, then you might want to ask a lot of questions of that school OR cross it off your list of potential institutions for your undergraduate degree!

Good luck!!


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Estelle’s Answer

Getting into medical school is about dedication and effort. If you can do well in college, you will be really well prepared for medical school. In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a college that suits your personality and a major that interests you. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, 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


During college study for and complete the MCAT. Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete then psychiatry residency is another 4 years.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Lydia! Of course! This can be definitely helpful because to be a psychiatrist, you must go to medical school and before that you have to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which has a section that is only Psychology and Sociology. I was a Psychology major and I loved it, I also believe that the field of Psychology is valued in medicine, the perspectives it provides can make a physician go from good to great. I would definitely take some classes in Psychology. You can even major in it because different majors do bring a diverse perspective to medical school; you can be any major as long as you take the prerequisites for medical school!

Best of luck!

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Cameren’s Answer

So the major thing with going into psychiatry is that you are going to have to take the MCAT and pursue medical school. Both of these things require certain courses during your undergraduate years in order to succeed on the MCAT examination and be qualified to enter medical school. With that being said, having a basis in psychology would definitely be beneficial. I would first suggest that you research what medical schools you are interested in applying to and see what undergraduate courses they require in order to be granted admission and also look into the MCAT subjects that you need to have an understanding of. From there you need to figure out how to incorporate those classes above and your psychology classes. It would also be helpful to talk with your academic advisor as they have probably dealt with a student in the same position as you.

The bottom line is that as long as you are completed the required courses for medical school and the MCAT, your major is not very important. Another suggestion would to major in mathematics (or any subject you find relevant) and minor in psychology or vice versa. This way you are getting in the psychology courses that will definitely be useful but also becoming a well-rounded student by studying other relevant material. I hope this was helpful.

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Susan Delphine’s Answer

Being a medical doctor means being grounded in neuroscience. I'd focus more on neuroscience, as that is the future of psychiatry. If you plan to to therapy as part of your practice (I do), by all means take some normal and abnormal psychology. But the body is where physicians, and even cognitive behavioral therapists are looking. Neuroscience!

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