A psychiatrist is a mental health specialized medical doctor. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists, although they do something of the therapies psychologist do. They only dwell on the medical part of mental health. In most cases, psychiatrists work with a team that comprises; social workers, clinical psychologists, therapists, and nurses.
There are three areas of specialization, namely;
- Child and adolescent psychiatry
- Forensic psychiatry
- Substance abuse psychiatry
Just like any other profession, psychiatry has got its own advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of being a Psychiatrist
1. Job market: Psychiatrists have many job opportunities. One can choose to work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, NGOs, or even teach or mentor students in higher learning institutions.
2. Self-employment: A psychiatrist might decide to open a private practice. Self-employment brings about freedom and flexibility, which ensures a proper work-life balance.
3. Well-paying job: Psychiatrists earn good salaries. Those who have their own private practices even earn more than those who employ themselves. This helps ensure financial stability.
4. Pleasant working environment: When attending to people suffering from mental illness, the environment needs to be private and calm, which is a friendly working environment. This makes the psychiatrist comfortable as well.
5. Helping people: As a psychiatrist, you get to help people daily, thus shaping the lives of others. Improving other people’s quality of life makes one feel better.
6. Variety working environment: Psychiatrists work in various environments, for example, hospitals, schools, NGOs, Corporations, etc. This helps them learn a lot and view life from different angles.
7. Growth and development: Being a psychiatrist offers one more opportunity for self-development and growth. They achieve this through the research and the various people they interact with. Psychiatrists get to meet with many people with different cultural backgrounds, hence gaining more knowledge.
Cons of being A Psychiatrist
1. Irregular working hours: As a psychiatrist, keep a close eye on your clients to know how he/she is fairing on. Some clients might reach out for help at odd hours. Sometimes, a psychiatrist can work for 6- 8 hours per day on working days and even holidays and weekends.
2. Lengthy educational process: The educational process takes time since one has to first complete his/her undergraduate degree, then proceed to medical school for four years. After that, one has to enroll in a program specializing in psychiatry. It takes twelve years for one to become a psychiatrist.
3. Expensive education process: The lengthy educational process is costly. One spends much on the educational process.
4. Failing to find accurate diagnosis/cure: Psychiatrists deal with many patients with different mental health problems, and they sometimes find it difficult to come up with an accurate diagnosis, especially when the psychiatrist does not have enough experience. Some patients might also not find a cure for their problems.
5. Stressful Job: Psychiatrists spend most of their time listening to people’s problems and trying to find solutions to those problems. They also work for more hours, including holidays and weekends. If they cannot balance work and life, they might end up stressed.
6. Physical dangers: The people psychiatrists deal with exposes them to potential physical risk while they’re doing their work. Some patients might even assault/abuse the psychiatrist because of their state of mind. Others might also blame the psychiatrist for their problems.
7. Self-employment can be a challenge: Psychiatrists in private practice face a lot of challenges. Self-employment comes with costs, and one needs to first look for good office space, pay start-up costs (licenses, etc.), monthly costs in insurance, marketing, and other costs.