What should I major in if I want to be a psychiatrist that works with anorexics and bulimics?
I am a senior in high school and am trying to get some outside input on my major. This career has been my dream for about two years and I am looking for any advice I can get from people who work in the field. Thank you so much for your help.
You can work with anorexics/bulimics as a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a clinical social worker or a clinical counselor.
If you want to be a psychiatrist, that is a medical doctor (an MD), so you would have to go to medical school after college. If you plan to go to medical school, it is almost essential that you major in one of the sciences like biology, chemistry, biochemistry, etc. because the exam you have to take to get into medical school, the MCAT, will mostly be testing you on the sciences. Medical school, with all the training is about an 8-year commitment (and hundreds of thousands of dollars) beyond the 4 years of college. If you're ready for that commitment, good for you! Go for it!
A shorter and less expensive route to the kind of work you're interested in is through psychology or social work. If you are most interested in directly counseling patients with anorexia or bulimia, this is a more realistic way to go. It can be a very rewarding career.
If you want to care for the patient's physical health and make decisions about medications, hospitalization, etc., then becoming a psychiatrist is the way to go.
Also, see how many credit hours you may need to qualify for an internship at a family health center or rehabilitation facility where you can get hands-on experience and insight from those that work in the helping profession. In addition, you can obdserve and learn from the eating disorder clients themselves.