Mental health is a huge field. In the last few years, awareness has increased about the different types of mental conditions that are prevalent in the developed world. As awareness of the conditions increases, it has become increasingly acceptable to visit medical professionals to control and treat these medical conditions.
Most general doctors will direct the patient to a psychiatrist or a medical professional who deals exclusively with mind health conditions. Psychiatrists are licensed medical professionals who will diagnose and treat mental conditions. As they are medical professionals, they are also qualified to prescribe hospital admittance and medications to help control the condition.
Incidence of Mental Health Conditions
The surprising fact is that almost 60% of the world suffers from one kind of cerebral condition. When you break this down, it means that one in four adults experiences some kind of mental health condition. This means that almost 61.5 million Americans experience mental illness at any given time. The statistics are scarier for children. For example, a recent study by NAMI stated that almost 26% of youth suffer from some kind of mental condition.
One half of these children experience the same problem during their entire lifetime. As the condition is not recognized during youth, most of these children grow up to be adults with the same underlying mental illness. Due to hectic lifestyles and busy careers, very few of these adults have the time to get diagnosed and treated for hidden mental conditions. Psychiatrists don’t just work with conditions like schizophrenia but their work experience includes treating and helping patients with learning disabilities, eating disorders, etc.
The actual psychiatrist salary of a mental health professional will vary considerably. For example, PayScale states that psychiatrists may get paid anywhere from $69,790 to about $122,300. There are many factors that will influence this payment. For example, some states like California, New York, and Ohio have a higher demand for qualified professionals. As a result, these states are willing to pay higher than average salaries for these professionals. Please note that psychologists are different from psychiatrists. Although both fields are qualified to treat conflicted patients, psychologists cannot prescribe medications as they do not have a medical degree.
As a result, a psychologist salary is lower than a psychiatrist salary. A quick comparison of psychiatrist vs psychologist salary will show that due to their medical degree, psychiatrists get paid more than psychologists. Professionals who have studied more and specialized in child mental illness will get paid more. As a result, a child psychiatrist salary will be more than average. Please note that this salary is just an average rate. You can use online resources to compare an anesthesiologist salary, psychiatrist average salary, forensic psychiatrist salary, etc. to get the most accurate salary ranges available online.
The Demand For Psychiatrists
There is an extremely high demand for trained and experienced psychiatrists at present. With the increasing incidence of mental illness, experienced doctors are required to understand the condition and start treatment as early as possible.
As these conditions may start early in life, postgraduate professionals like pediatric psychiatrists are in high demand but very few are actually available. As a result, if you are interested in becoming a psychiatrist, this is a good time to enter the profession.
How To Become a Psychiatrist
The process of becoming a psychiatrist starts by taking on additional biology courses in high school. After high school, they have to complete a bachelors degree in science or allied health to help them prepare for a medical degree.
Although no specific degree is recommended, having a science degree or human biology course can prove to be helpful by teaching you physics, math, biology, English, etc. Additional courses in humanities, medical ethics, human biology, sociology, etc. are useful. Students are also encouraged to volunteer at local hospitals and medical clinics to have hands-on experience in dealing with patients and medical treatments.
After this, students can apply to a medical college. You should know that getting in to a medical college is highly competitive. Students have to sit for a medical entrance exam called the Medical College Admission test or the MCAT.
Depending on their exam marks, they can then apply to schools. However, schools too, have their own requirements for admission. Having additional requirements like recommendations, pre-med courses, volunteer experience, etc. can give the student a huge edge over other applicants. There will also be an admission interview.
Once you have completed the admission requirements, students have to study for five years to complete their medical degree. This will then be followed by a post-graduate medical residency in psychiatry. This residence will take anywhere from two years to three years.
The postgraduate training will provide the medical professional a complete grounding in psychopharmacology training, cognitive behavioral training, substance abuse disorders, etc. Once the medical professional has completed the course, they have to sit for a state licensing exam. Licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Once the medical professional has completed the state licensing exam, they can work at hospitals, clinics, and outpatient treatment centers.
In order to get a complete grounding in your career, medical professionals should also consider board certification. Board certification for psychiatrist education is necessary all over the US and students have to sit for a licensing exam held by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. After the exam, they can also continue their education in the form of a fellowship or a Ph. D or doctorate to add to their expertise.
Demand for Psychiatrist Career
There is already a critical shortage of trained medical professionals to deal with the burgeoning mental illnesses in the local American population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is already a demand for more than 24,000 trained mental health conditions in the US.
In the coming decade, this demand is expected to double or triple as the number of mentally affected patient’s increase. As a result, this is a good time to enter the mind-treatment field. If you are planning to specialize in cerebral treatment, it’s a good time to look into the field of psychological treatment as soon as possible.
Mental illness is a very serious problem affecting the modern world. According to statistics, mental conditions cost America at least $193.2 billion every year in treatment costs and lost earnings. Although psychologists are available to help with psychological treatment, its a good idea to use psychiatrists as they can recognize mental conditions, prescribe medications, and even admit patients to hospitals for medical interventional treatments like surgery. The faster these conditions are recognized, the better it is for those adults.
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