What is the best way to become a Psychiatrist, Is there only one route? What AP courses should you take in high school to become one and what is the best path?
I am a junior in high school struggling with course selection.
Great question! You'll need to complete medical school to become a psychiatrist. Here is the general breakdown:
1. Complete high school
2. Research what college you want to go to for your bachelor's degree. Most medical schools will consider any degree as long as you've completed the prerequisites for the med school. You might want to consider an undergrad degree in psychology.
(I have a bachelor's in biomedical science with minors in chemistry and sociology, and my friends in medical school have English, Russian history, and Psychology degrees.)
3. Take as many classes as you can for your degree at your community college to save money (but make sure they transfer to a university)! Apply for financial aid through FAFSA. Some community colleges have programs to get you from that community college and into a nearby university.
4. Apply for and graduate with at least a bachelor's degree.
5. Prepare for and take the MCAT (medical college admissions test).
6. Prepare for and apply to medical schools (both MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) can become psychiatrists).
7. Complete 4 years of medical school (the first 2 years are book learning, second two years are clinical rotations). Licensing exams are done after the 2nd year of medical school and another after the 3rd year. Then the 3rd one is done during residency.
8. Apply for and attend the psychiatric residency - another 4 years of training. (Take your 3rd major exam here.)
GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Also, if you're interested in either saving money on your undergrad or getting it 1-2 years sooner, I highly suggest looking into CLEP & Sophia credits. Both allow you take an online course and test for college credit. Depending on the course, it can take under a month to complete and usually costs $50-$100 per course compared to the traditional college alternative of $1,500+. I'm currently taking CLEP, Sophia & CCP courses in order to get my undergrad even before I graduate highschool & with $0 debt. I'll link some resources below.
Once you get your undergrad, you'll be able to take the MCAT & get started on your graduate degree in psychiatry.
Good luck and feel free to ask any other questions you have :)
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As someone who took AP courses and is now about to graduate college to eventually apply to medical school, I can honestly say that AP courses are way harder than actual college courses and if you don't receive a good score on the AP exam, some colleges won't count the credit for it. The only exam that had many benefits for me (Imo) was AP Psych and that's because I'm a Psych Major.
I can't speak on the community college system in Ohio, but I do know in CA that high school students can concurrently enroll in community college courses as long as it doesn't conflict with their actual high school classes. It might be the same in Ohio but I would definitely check before you enroll in any classes.
For medical school, you don't have to be a science major to go to medical school. With that being said, even as a non-science major student, you would still need to complete the prereqs for the medical school you want to go to like General Chem, Bio, Physics, and Organic chemistry. etc.
You would also need to have volunteer hours, both clinical and non-clinical to show medical schools that you have the experience and know what's to come when in medical school. So 4 years for a Bachelor, 4 years of medical school, and however many years of residency/intern years that you do.