Psychiatrists are well-trained physicians who treat patients suffering from mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms (Hopke 538). He or she will offer several various approaches of giving different explanations of how the patients’ symptoms or medical disorders develop and how they intervene with the patients’ functioning and how or why diagnosis or diagnostic treatment can alter them (Kahn 308). Psychiatry offers a wide variety of employment options for people who enjoy helping others and have the self-determination to meet the medical requirements of the field.
The evolution of Psychiatry began in the 18th century. It was thought to be a demonic possession, but later came to be known as a medical sickness that could be brought to a minimal by treatment. With the efforts of Phillipe Pinel, from France, and J. Connely, from England, they both advocated a more humane approach to Psychiatry (“Britannica“). Sigmund Freud, a Viennese Psychiatrist, developed useful techniques for analyzing human behavior. The brilliant scientist first lectured in the United States in 1909 (Cosgrove 240).
In becoming a Psychiatrist, one has to complete 16 years of school. Including training in Anatomy, Biology, medical practices, and other subjects, along with making excellent grades in High School and College. The educational requirements include High School, College (four years), degree obtained: BA or BS. Medical School (four years), degree obtained: MD., and Psychology Residency Training (four years). In
the first two years of Medical School, the student devotes the first half of their college career by taking classes regarding science. Including Human Anatomy, Histology, Pathology, Immunology, etc.. The second half of college, the students are dedicated to clinical training. Students are introduced to various fields of medicine, and gain exposure to what exactly is entailed in the job (“Psychiatry”). In the last step to become a Psychiatrist, the student must pass oral and written examinations administered by American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (Ferguson Publishing Co. 7).
The job specifications are also quite high. A Psychiatrist, along with any doctor in a medical profession, must be mentally stable. They must have an understanding about the patients’ needs, and spend ample time in consolation with the patient, Psychiatrists must spend much time with patients who are depressed, angry, even suicidal (FPC 6).
The difference in Psychology and Psychiatry is the fact that Psychiatrists prescribe drugs for patients and/or prescribe their patients to undergo medical treatment, according to the person’s needs (Cosgrove 241). The doctor must interview the patient and give them complete physical examinations, along with the patient giving their history, personality characteristics, and experience with Psychiatric problems. The doctor must rely on intelligence, personality tests, and tests to detect brain or nerve damage (“Encarta”).
The two main treatments are classified into organic and nonorganic (most used treatment). The most commonly used nonorganic treatment is known as Psychotherapy, which focuses on internal conflict and its resolution as a means of restoring mental health. Psychoanalysis, a nonorganic treatment, is a session where the patient relates dreams,
fantasies, and memories, with the thoughts and feelings associated with them, while the analyst helps interpret these associations. Milieu Therapy (also nonorganic), directs word activities and social relations among patients and staff toward therapeutic ends (“Encarta”). Two types of organic treatments are Electro Convulsive Therapy and Lobotomy. Electro Convulsive Therapy is commonly used to treat severe depression that has not responded to drug treatment (used to treat Schizophrenia), ECT is commonly used to treat severe depression that has not responded to drug treatment. Another treatment is Lobotomy or otherwise known as Leucotomy, where nerve fibers running to the front of the brain are severed (Used only in sever cases.) (“Encarta”). In cases where discussing problems is not enough, or when serious mental problems are caused by a brain disorder, a Psychiatrist may prescribe medication (FBC 6).
In doing an interview with Daniel Rufree (online conversation, October 1, 2000) a former child Psychiatrist, he has given a brief outlook of the job. He has stated the main duties and responsibilities of working at the Public Health Department are to “evaluate, diagnose, and when appropriate medicate.” The areas of knowledge and skills needed are “Medicine/pediatrics, child development, diads, triads and family structure”. The normal entrance qualifications are “College, Medical School, internship, and 4 years residency; [student] may take fifth year to specialize”. The training programs commonly used to prepare for this occupation may be to have “Certified residency training tied to medical school”. When asked of the average salary for inexperienced and experienced workers he stated “salary varies greatly by state and company, probably about 75000 in California”. The benefits that can typically be expected are “basic, losing some with changes”.
The advancement opportunities available are “mostly low level management promotion unless given manager”. The future trends of this occupation is to “specialize adolescents, infants, toddlers, violence, substance abuse law”. The kinds of employers that typically have a need for this occupation are to have “10 years of education, and should have skills to work with others on a team”. The most positions are located near “nice places to live, e.g.. coast, warm, great need in rural and poverty areas”. The positive and negative aspects of this occupation is “good: pay, generally respected, bad: more focus on medications alone”. The special license, certification or qualification required/recommended for child psychology is “residency training for 4 years”. The type of people he would most like to work with as co-workers are “PhD psychologist, LCSW social work therapist, MFT, psych. intern., volunteer special therapists (e.g.; art therapist)”.The other occupations that are similar to this occupation would be “Child Psychology, General Pediatrics, a school counselor, sometimes probation, juvenile law enforcement, and detention staff”. This concludes the interview.
There are numerous employment opportunities for people who are interested in going into the psychological field. Among them are Forensic Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists, Child Psychiatrists, Industrial Psychiatrists, Behavior Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. Forensic Psychiatrists work in the field of law, evaluating defendants, and testifying on their mental state. Also, determining whether or not defendants understand the charges against them and can contribute to their own defense. Psychoanalysts encourage patients to talk freely or free associate to uncover
subconscious beliefs and causes. Psychotherapists use “talk therapy”, this is when the
doctor helps the patient understand feelings and ideas that form the root of the problem. This treatment is given to individuals, groups, and families. Child Psychiatrists work with youth and usually their parents as well. Industrial Psychiatrists are employed by companies to deal with problems that affect employee performance such as alcohol or absenteeism. Behavior Therapists use “carrot-and-stick” method to change patients’ behavior. He or she will use biofeedback, medication, relaxation, and other treatment medications. Psychologists generally work with mentally disturbed patients (Cosgrove 241). Other related occupations are Psychiatric Nurses, Psychiatric Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric Aides and Technicians. (Hopke 538).
Being a Psychiatrist usually requires the doctor to work in offices they have established themselves, in hospitals, communication health centers, medical schools, or government agencies (Primarily work indoors with one location.) (Cosgrove 240-41). Other offices can be found in private hospitals, state hospitals, and community mental health centers. Psychiatrists usually work regular hours. They can set their own schedules, even working in irregular hours of the day. Some even take time out to help patients who cannot take time off during business hours (Hopke 540).
Psychiatrists generally accumulate more earnings than the average occupation. Their salaries can range anywhere from 137,200 to 207,500 (Hopke 538). This is determined by the type of practice, location, experience, and the number of patients treated. In general, there is a strong demand for Psychiatrists in the next decade (FPC 7). On average, the New England and Middle Atlantic States have the most Psychiatrists per population (Kahn308).
Cosgrove, Holli. “Psychiatry.” Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance.
Volume . Illinois: Chicago, 2000. 240-41
Ferguson Publishing Company. Career Discovery Encyclopedia. Volume . Illinois: Chicago, 2000. 7
Hopke, William E. The Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. Volume .
Illinois: Chicago, 1990. 538-40
Kahn, Ada P. , M.P.H. The Encyclopedia of Human Health. Volume . New York:
M. Dufree, personal communication, October 1, 2000
“Psychiatry.”: Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica 19 Sept.2000.
“Psychiatry.”: Encarta Online. Encarta 19 Sept.2000
Hauser, Mark J. M.D., “The Road to Becoming a Psychiatrist”