• You will be working with a variety of people in different situations. Every day will be different.
  • This job entails helping people with their problems, which can often be serious mental issues.
  • This is a good job for someone who is an excellent listener, and a good communicator.


  • Many people in this career must work irregular hours, often having to respond to patients during nonworking times.
  • Many people who see psychiatrists are suffering in some sort of way, so you must be well-balanced and be able to handle stress.
  • You must be good with people, and be able to pose the right questions to patients in order to sometimes get to the root of their problems.


A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that works exclusively on issues related to the mind. They are specialized in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental issues. The types of problems that psychiatrists see during the day are varied. Some patients will come to see them for mild stress, while others have serious mental issues such as retardation or depression. Psychiatrists usually work in tandem with other health professionals such as psychologists, nurses and social workers.

When a patient comes to see a psychiatrist, time is spent in consultations to identify the specific problem they are having. Psychiatrists will ask questions and review medical and personal family history to see if a patient is predetermined for a particular problem. Once a psychiatrist has indentified a problem with a patient, they have a wide array of treatments at their disposal. They can prescribe drugs to help remedy a chemical imbalance, recommend hospitalization or perform psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is where a psychiatrist will delve deep into a patient’s past experiences through communication to try to resolve a particular problem.

While there are psychiatrists that work in hospitals, there are many other places to find them. They will work in corporate and non-profit settings. They can become teachers or authors. Sometimes they will work for pharmaceutical companies. Most often, however, a psychiatrist will be found in private practice where they see their patients on a regular basis.


One who aspires to become a psychiatrist must first become a doctor. In order to become a doctor a student must complete a pre-med major at a four year university. Because it is difficult to get into medical school, a student must do well academically. Those wishing to apply to medical school must also take the MCAT, the medical college admissions test. Once a student has been admitted to medical school, they must spend four years completing the degree. A psychiatrist gets most of his or her training after medical school during their residency, learning about the connection between the physical body and the brain.

Job Prospects

The prospects for psychiatrists are very good for those who desire to be working in this career path. As is the case for most health professions, the population is getting older, and as they age more medical care is required. This trend trickles down to psychiatrists, who are special medical doctors. Psychiatrists are seeing no shortage of work in the future.

Advancement Opportunities

The best way for a psychiatrist to advance is to build their own practice. When a practice is first started, income may be low but over time as a successful business is built it can be much more rewarding than working for another organization. With that being said, it is also possible for a psychiatrist to move up within an organization, offering their particular expertise to different issues in management or health administration.