Summary of profession

Psychiatrists evaluates patients for mental, emotional or behavioral disorders. They diagnose disorders, including nature and extent, and determine the appropriate course of treatment for the patient. They also prescribe medication when necessary.

Working hours, patterns and environments

You may work long hours including nights and weekends. You’ll also be part of an out-of-hours rota system. You may be based on a hospital ward or an outpatient department. You could also work in the community as part of a community mental health team visiting schools, residential homes and prisons.

Education and skills

To be a psychiatrist one must first complete a degree in medicine and become a graduate doctor, then study further for four or five years to complete the psychiatry degree.

Job growth and opportunities

With experience, you may go on to lead a team, or manage a unit or department. You may also progress to teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals. You could also move into research or become self-employed.