Physician - Psychiatrists
What is a Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, including: addictions such as alcohol abuse or gambling, anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorders and other problems that affect your daily life.
Psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbance. Their medical education has given them a working knowledge of the possible causes of a patientís feelings and symptoms. Armed with this understanding, psychiatrists can make a diagnosis and then recommend or provide treatment.
If you are looking for a psychiatrist in Westchester County or a medical doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, find a doctor on our list of Psychiatrists in Ardsley Briarcliff Manor Chappaqua Katonah Larchmont Mt. Kisco Mamaroneck New Rochelle Scarsdale White Plains Yonkers Yorktown Heights or other locations in Westchester County, NY.Psychiatrists may specialize in specific areas of psychiatry, such as:
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Why do people go to a psychiatrist?
The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack or as frightening hallucinations, thoughts or suicide, or "voices" that whisper intrusive and incomprehensible things. Or they may be more long-term-such as a pall of gloom that never seems to lift, causing everyday life to feel distorted, out of control, not worth living.
Because they are physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests that provide a complete picture of a patient's physical and mental state. Their education and years of clinical experience equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses, evaluate all the medical and psychological data, make a diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan.
What are the requirements to become a psychiatrist?
Medical students follow a standard curriculum, with only a few opportunities for choice. In addition to chemistry, biochemistry and physiology, students take courses in psychiatry, behavioral science, and neuroscience in the first two years of medical school. In the last two years, students are assigned to medical specialty "clerkships," where they study and work with physicians in at least five different medical specialties.
Medical students taking a psychiatry clerkship take care of patients with mental illnesses in the hospital and in outpatient settings. They also have an opportunity to work with medical and surgical patients who may have psychiatric problems or who have difficulty coping with their illnesses. Because modern psychiatry places special emphasis on the relationship between mind and body, students pay special attention to issues of stress and physical illness, prevention and behavior change, in addition to learning to care for severely mentally ill patients. Newly graduated physicians take written examinations for a state license to practice medicine. After graduation, doctors spend the first year of residency training in a hospital taking care of patients with a wide range of medical illnesses. The psychiatrist-in-training then spends at least three additional years in a psychiatric residency learning the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, gaining valuable skills in various forms of psychotherapy and in the use of psychiatric medicines and other treatments.
After completing their residency training, most psychiatrists take a voluntary examination given by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, to become a "board certified" psychiatrist.
Many psychiatrists continue training beyond the initial four years. They may study child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, forensic (legal) psychiatry, administrative psychiatry, alcohol and substance abuser psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, psychiatry in general medical settings (called "consultation/liaison psychiatry"), mental retardation psychiatry, community psychiatry and public health, military psychiatry and psychiatric research. Some choose additional training in psychoanalysis at special psychoanalytic institutes.
What career paths are available for a psychiatrist?
The hallmark of a psychiatrist's career is diversity and flexibility. Although some psychiatrists prefer working only in one setting, others work in several areas, combining, for instance, a private practice with hospital or community mental health center work. Practitioners set their own work and time commitments according to their personal lifestyles and needs.
Psychiatrists earn about the same as pediatricians and family physicians, depending on the type of practice, hours worked, geographic location, and whether the psychiatrist works in the public or private sector.
Source: Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives.