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What is the daily life in Psychology?

What is the day of a psychiatrist like?

Hello, I'm interested in Psychology as learning about the human mind is interesting, what is daily life in that occupation like?

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Laura’s Answer

Hello, there are several different career directions to take if you are interested in psychology. You had asked specifically about a psychiatrist. Although I am not a psychiatrist, I work with them as a clinical social worker.

First, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor. Someone interested in becoming a psychiatrist would attend college for 4 years, take an exam to be accepted into medical school and then attend medical school for 4 years. After graduating from medical school they would receive additional training in psychiatry. They would work under the guidance of another psychiatrist and often work in psychiatric hospitals and interacting with patients.

Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and so they are trained in what to use for various mental health conditions. Once they complete their training, they need to get a medical license as well as a license to prescribe medication. Each state works a little differently.

Many psychiatrists have their own practice and they would see a variety of patients throughout the day. In years past, psychiatrists would provide different types of talk therapy, but today they are primarily focused on managing the medications to have the right types and dosage to assist patients. Then, someone like myself would provide the psychotherapy. In order to do this, I had to graduate from college and then obtain my master's degree, get about 3000 hours of training in different settings, sit for an exam, and apply for a license in each state where I want to practice. So, for a doctor, the average time is about 12 years of education and internship and for someone like me- a licensed clinical social worker- it is about 10 years of education and internship.

Psychiatrists can also choose to go into research or teaching or even business jobs such as drug safety.

Good luck in your career.
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Jay’s Answer

Hi, there! I'm not sure if you're asking about a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but I'm a pediatric psychologist working at a children's hospital. I work specifically with the nephrology team. That means everyday, I can be called in for an inpatient consult, so that part can be unpredictable, anywhere from 0-3 consults per day. Approximately 2 days per week, I have 4-5 outpatient therapy patients, any inpatient consults, and documentation time. Approximately 2 days per week, I do 2-3 developmental testing with toddlers, see 1-2 outpatient therapy patients, any inpatient consults, and documentation time. Then one day per week I conduct more comprehensive testing in the morning, 1-2 outpatients, inpatient consults, and writing time. Add in some subspecialty and department meetings, and that's about the whole week! This schedule can be drastically different even within our department, depending on faculty interests and medical team needs. Some of our faculty also do not take inpatient consults but incorporated into medical clinics. There's many paths to take in psychology and there's plenty of flexibility, if one wants. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Madison
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