A career in psychiatry
Kirsty Passmore and Wai-Ching Leung give some insight into what is involved
- By: Kirsty Passmore, Wai-Ching Leung
Myths about psychiatry abound in medical schools. Contrary to popular belief, most psychiatrists are “normal” people who generally do not have beards and do not always want to know about your childhood. The distinctions between psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists are often poorly understood and in the United States these terms are often used interchangeably. In brief, psychologists are concerned with the way the mind works. They may specialise in areas such as education or they may focus on mental health problems. Psychotherapists are trained in different types of “talking therapies.” Psychiatrists are doctors who specialise in mental health problems.
Until recently, psychiatry was often regarded as a Cinderella specialty as it does not share the adrenaline fuelled excitement of emergency medicine or the glamour of other acute specialties, such as general medicine and surgery. Other medics often perceive psychiatry as an easy option for those who fail to progress in