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What majors and minors should I take to become a psychiatrist, but still get experience in education?

Hey! I am thinking of pursuing a degree in psychology. My overall goal is to become either a children's trauma therapist or more hopefully a psychiatrist, but I still want skills in education in order to keep my options more open. I thought of doing a psychology major, with a minor in education, and another in biology. Then I was thinking of majoring in neuroscience as well. Is there any way to where I can take classes for both education and psychiatry?

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Akerke’s Answer

Hello Angela🤗

A psychiatrist is a doctor.  Therefore, if you are going to devote yourself to the good cause of helping mentally ill people, you need to receive special medical education.

Psychiatry is a large area of ​​medicine, from which separate areas have emerged:

psychotherapy,

narcology,

forensic psychiatry,

child psychiatry,

psychiatric examination.

That is, in order to become a psychotherapist, forensic psychiatrist or narcologist psychiatrist, you first need to become a psychiatrist (that is, go through all of the above 3 stages of training), and then receive additional education - professional retraining.

For pre-med students aspiring to become psychiatrists, useful majors and minors include:

• Major in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry: These majors provide a strong foundation in the sciences, which is essential for medical school and understanding the biological basis of mental health.

• Minor in Psychology: A minor in psychology can provide valuable insight into human behavior, mental processes, and psychological disorders, which are central to the field of psychiatry.

• Minor in Neuroscience: Understanding the brain and nervous system through a minor in neuroscience can be particularly beneficial for future psychiatrists, as it provides a deeper understanding of the biological underpinnings of mental health and psychiatric disorders.

• Major or Minor in Sociology or Anthropology: These fields can provide a broader perspective on human behavior, culture, and social factors that influence mental health, which is important for a holistic approach to psychiatry.
Thank you comment icon I'll think about this, thank you Angela
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Angela,

To carve out a successful career as a psychiatrist with a focus on education, you should consider an academic trajectory that melds psychology, education, and potentially neuroscience. Here's a recommended roadmap for your major and minor studies:

1. Major in Psychology: This is a crucial stepping stone to a career in psychiatry. It lays the groundwork for understanding human behavior, mental processes, and psychological disorders.

2. Minor in Education: To hone your educational skills, a minor in education is a wise choice. This will arm you with knowledge about educational theories, teaching strategies, and child development, which can be advantageous if you plan to work with children as a psychiatrist.

3. Minor in Biology: Complement your psychology major with a minor in biology to gain a deeper grasp of the biological processes that influence behavior and mental health conditions.

4. Additional Major or Concentration in Neuroscience: If feasible, an additional major or concentration in neuroscience is highly recommended. Neuroscience provides insights into the brain’s architecture and operations, which are vital for understanding psychiatric disorders and their treatments.

By integrating these majors and minors, you can cultivate a comprehensive academic background that spans psychology, education, biology, and neuroscience. This interdisciplinary strategy will furnish you with the knowledge and skills required to thrive as a psychiatrist, while also accruing valuable experience in education.

Bear in mind that the specific prerequisites for majors and minors may differ based on the university or college you choose. Therefore, it's wise to seek guidance from academic advisors at your institution to customize your academic plan to align with your career aspirations effectively.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

American Psychiatric Association (APA): The APA is a premier organization representing psychiatrists across the United States. Their guidelines and resources offer invaluable information on the educational routes to becoming a psychiatrist.

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): The NASP provides insights into the realm of school psychology and education-related programs that can be beneficial for those keen on merging psychiatry with education.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH is a trusted source for information on mental health research and training opportunities. Their resources can provide direction on the convergence of psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry within an educational framework.

May God bless you!
JC.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Angela!

To pave your way to becoming a psychiatrist, while also gaining a foothold in education, here's a roadmap of majors and minors you could consider:

1. Major in Psychology: Opting for a psychology major is a great start for future psychiatrists. It lays a robust foundation in comprehending human behavior, mental processes, and psychological disorders, all of which are vital for psychiatry.

2. Minor in Education: To get a taste of the education field, you might want to minor in education. This will equip you with knowledge about teaching techniques, educational psychology, and classroom management. This could be particularly useful if you see yourself working with children or teenagers as a psychiatrist.

3. Minor in Biology: Complementing your psychology major with a biology minor can deepen your understanding of the biological elements of mental health and psychiatric disorders. Grasping biology is key to understanding the physiological workings behind psychological conditions.

4. Major in Neuroscience: A neuroscience major can further boost your comprehension of the brain's structure and function, which is central to psychiatry. Neuroscience sheds light on how the brain shapes behavior, emotions, and cognitive processes, making it a worthy study area for budding psychiatrists.

5. Blend Education and Psychiatry Classes: It might be tricky to find classes that cover both education and psychiatry, but you can seek out interdisciplinary courses or electives that span both fields. Look out for courses centered around child development, educational psychology, or behavioral interventions that bridge education and mental health.

By merging a psychology major with education and biology minors, and adding a neuroscience major or additional neuroscience coursework to the mix, you'll be creating a solid academic base for your career as a psychiatrist, while also gaining valuable education insights.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

American Psychiatric Association (APA): The APA is a premier organization for psychiatrists in the US. Their resources offer useful details on psychiatric education prerequisites and career trajectories.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI is a trusted source for information on mental health disorders and treatment methods. They provide insights into the overlap of mental health and education.

Association for Psychological Science (APS): APS is committed to promoting scientific psychology across research areas like neuroscience and educational psychology. Their publications provide updates on the latest advancements in these fields relevant to your academic journey.

Wishing you abundant blessings, Angela!
JC.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I have a lot to think about and this was extremely helpful! Angela
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Karissa’s Answer

You could take classes for education and psychology. There are Educational Psychologists in every school district. You will need a masters degree for this job.

If you want to become a psychiatrist then you will need to go to medical school. Medical doctors do not need teaching licenses to fall back on because we need more doctors than we have in the US.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Angela
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Heidi Ann’s Answer

You can do a double major; I did. German/comparative literature and human physiology. The two subjects had very little overlap other than the general requirements that my university had to graduate. What was the point of doing this? Sanity for starters. German lit was easier, kept my ego safe while being beaten up in the hard core sciences -- and it was "plan B". If I didn't get into medical school, I would become a German lit professor. Had multiple other benefits which were not apparent at the time.

Try going online to maybe two or three universities you're interested in. Check out the required courses for an education degree vs whatever degree they recommend for being "pre-med". Please note: a lot of the "pre-med" degrees become bordering on useless unless you attend medical school. A BA/BS in biology (or human physiology) won't do much by itself. Then you are almost forced to pursue an advanced degree such as a master's or PhD if you wish to make a living out of it.

On the other hand, I can tell you about all my female cohorts who graduated with high honors, had scholarships, etc, but then ended up as a secretary for some insurance company with their liberal arts BA.So, check out the career options, consequences of your choices first.

Heidi Ann recommends the following next steps:

Set up a list of three or four universitites you are interested in. Check out side-by-side comparisons of what they require to graduate with and education or some "pre-med" degree. Maybe then check out their courses. From there, see what their students say about those courses, departments. Did they feel the experience was worthwhile? Was it overly competitive? Etc.
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