Becoming a psychiatrist requires a passion for helping people and having the necessary patience to evaluate each individual, even when he or she may not be eager to cooperate due to stress or severe mental symptoms. Psychiatrists may deal with people who come from all backgrounds and have various financial, emotional or social problems that may aggravate their mental disorder. The doctor must identify these factors and try to eliminate them before proceeding to the actual treatment. Psychiatrists must have the ability to cope with stress and remain calm in difficult situations because certain patients may become aggressive, either verbally or physically. However, contrary to popular belief, only a small fraction of patients exhibit aggressive behavior, which may be solved through administration of sedative medication.

People who aspire to become psychiatrists have to graduate from medical school. Then they must enroll in a residency program in psychiatry and, upon successful completion, become Board Certified by taking an exam. The duration of residency in psychiatry varies depending on the country, but it may take between four and six years.

What are Psychiatrists like?


Based on our pool of users, Psychiatrists tend to be predominately social people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Psychiatrists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 73 Sokanu users

Are Psychiatrists happy?


Psychiatrists rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 84th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Psychiatrist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

How to Become a Psychiatrist

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Further Reading

  • How To Become A Psychiatrist: Career & Education Info education-portal.com

    A career in psychiatry entails undergraduate school, medical school and residency training.

  • What Degrees Do You Need To Become A Psychiatrist? work.chron.com

    Psychiatrists specialize in emotional and mental health, but they have the same foundational training as other physicians. Their education enables them to diagnose both the mental and physical reasons for illness, according to the American Psychiatric Association. They use a wide range of treatments, including psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and medication.

  • Compare Psychiatry Medical Schools medical-schools.findthebest.com

    Compare Psychiatry Medical Schools in the USA

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Recommended Books

  • Career Planning for Psychiatrists www.amazon.com

    Residents and medical students thinking about a career in psychiatry, practicing psychiatrists considering a change of specialty, or anyone else facing a career decision needs a comprehensive guide to the various opportunities available to them.

  • Kaufman's Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists www.amazon.com

    Completely revised in response to the new format of the ABPN certifying exam, Kaufman's Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists is the ideal reference to enhance your mastery of the neurology knowledge needed for the Psychiatry Board exam. Nearly 2,000 multiple-choice practice questions, in print and online, assess your familiarity with the latest topics in the field.

  • Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work www.amazon.com

    By Dinah, Hanson, Annette, Daviss, Steven Roy Miller

  • In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist www.amazon.com

    "EXCELLENT . . . I recommend [Klitzman's] book as a valuable account of one particular kind of training that goes into becoming a psychiatrist." --The Washington Post

  • Psychiatric Clinical Skills www.amazon.com

    Psychiatric Clinical Skills is a practical guide to engaging and assessing people who have mental health problems. Written by a team of experienced clinicians, it focuses on "what to ask" and "how to ask" and covers a wide spectrum of clinical problems and settings.

  • Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry www.amazon.com

    As a scientific discipline, psychiatry has enormous breadth. It comprises both the technical, as in the frontier-expanding research in molecular genetics and the human and personal, as in the insights and support therapeutically given when a clinician treats a patient. The Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry equips the clinical student with a sure and knowledgeable grasp of the many facets of psychiatry.