Psychiatrists are easily the coolest doctors. This branch of medicine also happens to be very old and the organization that looks after the professional work and has been active for a time period of 150 years is called as American Psychiatric Association (APA). From movies and pop culture you might have sometime thought that wouldn’t it be cool if you are able to learn the things people do and how to decipher their actions and all. Well whatever you want to do, you must have thought once that how long does it take to become a psychiatrist? Your question is answered here.
Before getting to know that how long does it take to become a psychiatrist we should understand what a psychiatrist is and what does he do. A psychiatrist is a doctor daring enough to deal with mental illnesses and their treatment. Most of us often think that psychologists and psychiatrists are either the same professions or we intermix their meanings. Where there are many similarities in the two professions – spelling wise too- there are many big differences that make them the two ends of the same spectrum. Let us see here that how a psychiatrist differs from psychologist?
To become a professional psychiatrist, one needs to have a degree in medical field along with training done in the field of psychiatry. You also are able to prescribe medicines to the patients and can do a long physical check up like general physician. You are also at liberty to perform diagnostic tests and are free to recommend or try psychotherapy. You also be asked to work with a mental health committee where you will be required to interact with social workers, general physicians and psychologists.
Now going back to the main question that: how long does it take to become a psychiatrist? Well if you want to become a board certified psychiatrist then you need to have a post undergraduate degree in medicine where you studied for about 8 years. You can roughly estimate the time for how long does it take to become a psychiatrist by the idea that the bachelor’s degree will take you 4 years to complete which will be followed by 4 years of tireless education in medical school. Once you have cleared that in flying colors you are left with 4 years of residency. Now you can get a residency under Dr. House or Dr. Cox, it is all your sheer luck.
So all in all, the time for how long does it take to become a psychiatrist is a long 12 years including residency. If you want to specialize in a sub branch then you are talking about two more years of post residency fellowship that will train you to specialize in your area of choice. The best thing about spending so much time in process is that the job opportunities are countless. The conditions of the world and economy has created more people with mental illness than you and I can imagine and for all those people, a messiah in form of a psychiatrist is no short of a miracle.