A Career As A Psychiatrist Essay

1341 words - 5 pages

Becoming a Psychiatrist has interested me based on the premise of helping others. A psychiatrist is a physician who diagnoses and treats mental disorders in his/her patients. A common misconception is that a psychiatrist and a psychologist are the same thing. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists attend medical school and obtain a M.D. This gives them the power to prescribe certain medications and even specialize into certain fields such as geriatric psychology, which is the specialization into the mind and behavior of aging adults, child and adolescent psychology, which is the specialization into the mind and behavior of children, and addiction psychology, which is the specialization into the mind of process or substance addicts. In order to become a psychiatrist, one must earn a four year bachelor’s degree in either psychology or something involving life sciences. During Junior Year of an undergraduate school, one has to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to apply to medical school. After completing a bachelor’s degree, one must enroll in medical school. The first two years will mainly consist of biology, anatomy, pathology and other science courses. The next two years consists of working with doctors in the psychiatry field. The last year one will apply for residency. The residency consists of being trained for four years in the fields family medicine and pediatrics, neurology, for two years, and spending the last two years in the field of psychiatry. So the educational time to become a certified psychiatrist is approximately 12 years, but before one can be certified, a state certification exam must be passed.
A disease that psychiatrists commonly treat is depression. Depression is treatable medical condition where a patient feels sad for a prolonged period of time. According to the DSM-IV, only five of the following symptoms need to be found within a patient to diagnose depression. They include: A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning, fatigue or loss of energy almost every day, feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day, impaired concentration, indecisiveness, insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day, recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death), a sense of restlessness or being slowed down, and significant weight loss or weight gain. If these symptoms appear in a patient for two or more weeks, they can be diagnosed with depression. Please note though that symptoms that occur within two months of the loss of a loved is not considered to be clinical depression. There are also several reasons for depression. A lack of serotonin in the brain can also cause depression, so anti-depressants can allow neurotransmitters to have a natural amount of serotonin in the receptors. Individuals also inherit depression from loved ones, so if...

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