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what are the pros and cons of becoming a psychiatrist?

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I am a junior at democracy prep charter school and i am interested in majoring in psycology. #psychology

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Jsskeffington’s Answer

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A psychiatrist is someone who has first qualified as a physician, going to medical school and getting an MD, before then specializing in psychiatry. Thus, one con is that it takes a lot longer and costs a lot more to be a psychiatrist than to be, for example, a clinical psychologist.


A clinical psychologist is an expert in mental health issues who has obtained a professional doctorate in clinical psychology. This doctorate usually also costs money, unless you do one in clinical science, where funding is available (though these are harder to get into).


Two benefits of being a psychiatrist over a clinical psychologist is that psychiatrists earn more money, and are allowed to prescribe drugs. They are thus seen as 'higher status' than psychologists within a hospital setting.


However, much research is showing that drugs are often not the best way of treating mental illness. Cognitive behavioral techniques and psychotherapy can be just as effective, especially at treating underlying causes of a problem, with no side effects (whereas drugs have side effects). The experts in such techniques are clinical psychologists, as psychiatrists often find that their training within the medical model, which sees all problems as originating in biological causes, gets in the way of understanding a patient.


So, a psychiatrist is a high status job, and it takes a lot of work to get there. If you want to be a medical doctor and love biology and chemistry, you might want to consider this route. A clinical psychologist, on the other hand, has a deeper understanding of the emotional and cognitive causes of psychological problems, and so you might enjoy this more if you like talking to people and understanding what is going on inside their heads.

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Mohamed’s Answer

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Pros and cons of becoming a psychiatrist
Psychiatrists can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with mental health issues, treating everything from panic attacks to clinical depression to substance abuse disorders. It's satisfying work for those who enjoy helping others, and it can also be highly remunerative and prestigious. However, as with any job, there are pros and cons to keep in mind.

Pros of becoming a psychiatrist
Self-employment opportunities. Approximately 20 percent of all psychiatrists are self-employed; many open their private practice after working in a hospital setting for several years. Private practice allows for increased flexibility and freedom that many professionals enjoy. After all, who wouldn't want to be their own boss?
Rapidly growing job market. As mentioned earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average job growth for psychiatrists, especially in rural and low-income areas. This is likely due to the rapidly increasing need for mental healthcare professionals, especially those with experience treating substance abuse disorders.
High earning potential. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report reported a median annual income for psychiatrists of $216,090. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an even higher estimate of $220,380.

Cons of becoming a psychiatrist
Lengthy, competitive educational process. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, meaning they have to complete undergraduate degrees, medical degrees, and several years of a medical residency before they can practice. Those can be stressful, challenging, sleep-deprived years.
Costly educational process. Medical school can be extremely costly, especially at the most prestigious institutions (tuition at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for example, is $54,900 per year). Educational debt can make it harder for young professionals to get ahead, save for the future, or open their own private practice.
Irregular hours and overtime are common. At the end of the day, psychiatrists are medical doctors, and doctors don't always work normal office hours. Psychiatrists may have to work evenings, weekends, and holiday shifts, especially when they're new to psychiatric practice.

source link: https://www.noodle.com/articles/the-pros-and-cons-of-becoming-a-psychiatrist-how-does-that-make-you-feel?
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