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I'm planning to study BA psychology. Is it possible to be a psychiatrist tho and how many years would it take considering I need to take an extra year of science? (Canada)

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Haya! I received my Bachelor's in Psychology as well; it's definitely a great field! I am aspiring to be a physician as well and in order to be a psychiatrist you need to go to medical school. I am not sure what the exact process is in Canada ( I know you still have to take the MCAT and do especially well in the CARS section of it) but for the U.S. you can be any major and apply to medical school. You have to take prerequisites in your undergrad. They are Biology 1 year, Inorganic Chemistry 1 year, Organic Chemistry 1 year, Physics 1 year ( can be university or college Physics-college is algebra based while university is calculus), English, some math courses (I took Calculus A and Biostats but there are prereqs for those classes as well so I took a couple more math classes before like Precalc. for example), Biochemistry 1 semester (some U.S. medical schools can replace it with Organic Chemistry 2 but I highly recommend it for the MCAT- know those amino acids). Other courses that are recommended are sociology, ethics, language (Spanish-preferable), genetics, anatomy and physiology. Being a Psychology major is great because Sociology/Psychology are tested on the MCAT and it allows for diversity as well! I would recommend getting volunteering hours as well as shadowing too! Have a strong GPA, MCAT score and LOR's- this will make you more competitive academically! Once again these prerequisites may be different for a Canadian medical school so I would pick a couple and do some research about their process as well to make sure; most of the classes should be the same but possibly the majors they require may be more traditional like Biology or Chemistry.
Medical school is 4 years plus 3-4 years of Psychiatry residency; your college years may be longer with an extra year of science but also may not be either. It really depends for me I actually finished a semester early- however I do wish I minored in Biology as well. I received my minor in Chemistry but it would've been good to have more extra classes! Something to keep in mind!

I hope this helps!
I wish you the best!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

Research Canadian medical schools
Do well in classes
Obtain experience for the medical field
Ace the MCAT
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Amy’s Answer

I am in the US so may be different than in Canada. But here, many people will do some post bac training to complete pre med requirements after doing a BA in psychology if you don't get all of the science courses completed during college years... many people will do an internship or work as a research asst during that time... med school is then 4 years and then you do a residency in psychiatry... I also did a child psychiatry fellowship so my total number of years as a resident was 5 but you get paid a little bit during that time and it goes pretty fast!
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Susan Delphine’s Answer

Have you thought of a double major in Psychology and Neuroscience? That might let you squeeze in the Chemistry and Physics you need, as electives, and graduate in four years. Do take some neuroscience courses, in any case. Med school admission committees like the "their kind of science" part of that.

College, plus four years of med school plus a four year residency.
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