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Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 07:09 AM

So I was really hoping to follow a career in either Psychiatry or Psychology and I'm debating between which to go for. Could anyone tell me what each one does and what your personal preference would be (I'm not basing my decision off other people, I'd just like to see the reasons)? I was kinda hoping to do what I do on this site and help troubled or suicidal or depressed people.


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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 07:28 AM

Well you could get a career as a psychologist with only master’s degree in America. But to be a psychiatrist you will have to go to medical school and get your MD. That also means you will have to do an extra few years of interning at a hospital after medical school before you are allowed to work on your own.. So, one path is definitely longer and more difficult then the other. It also depends on what field exactly you are most interested, for the most part both are going to take a good amount of math ability particularly in statistics. And a significant amount of skill in science particular physiology and bio chem. Most schools offer different programs depending on what form of psychology you wish to focus on. Such examples would be like neuroscience or quantitative.

If all you want to do is counsel people, you might be able to go the social worker route. It’s a little less intense. But for the most part, you are going to need at least your master’s degree. Hope that helped.




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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 07:41 AM

After looking around, Counseling Psychology kinda interests me the most. Sadly though I'm kinda a really ignorant person when it comes to random knowledge like this so I'll have to ask: what would be the upsides and downsides of Counseling Psychology as a career?


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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 07:48 AM

Besides the fact that it takes 6+ years of schooling and the pay isn’t too fantastic? It can be a career that is known to burn people out really quickly. It can be pretty mentally exhausting. I think definitely the biggest downside is the pay. For the amount of money you are going to have to take out in loans for schooling, its going to take awhile to pay it back. So this has to be something you are very certain you want to pursue. I highly recommend if you want to get a taste of what you are going to have to go through in college as a psych major is to take a statistics course in high school as well as anatomy and advanced biology or psychology course of some kind. You are going to need to have heavy science skills.




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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 08:23 AM

If you want to help depressed or suicidal people, I would go for being a psychiatrist or a psychologist but not for a therapist and whatnot. In certain states (Lousiana and New Mexico are the only ones I know of) a psychologist who does not have a MD can prescribe medications but that is often not the case in other areas. Psychologists can do research and/or clinical work from many angles, such as a neuropsychological angle to a focus in something for forensic psychology. Either route will need quite a lot of schooling because psychologists require a Master's and a Doctorate, then if they work in a hospital setting they need 1-2 years of training. Psychiatrists would need a M.D., residency and possibly a Master's (although not needed in Canada). When you look at it, it's about the same amount of time but psychiatry is a very competitive field to get into, as is clinical psychology.

For either one, you must know statistics, and if you're focusing on more research, you need to know even more. You may also need to know how to interpret MRIs, fMRIs, EEG scans and so forth.

I agree completely with Lizzie to take biology and mathematics in high-school, possibly also chemistry. If your high-school offers psychology, then of course take it.

Right now, I'm studying in neuropsychology/neuroscience, forensic psychology, criminology and some pharmacology for the route of a psychologist. For me, I'm doing a double major in biology and psychology with a minor in sociology that focuses on criminology. The reason I'm going into psychology as opposed to psychiatry is tri-fold. First, I'm going for neuroscience particularly in the research field of psychology, which is less competitive and an enormous field, so in theory it's easier to get into. Second, although psychiatrists are usually clinical, psychologists doing research are also clinical because they have to examine their subjects thoroughlly. Clinical psychologists would usually spend more time with each patient, get more information, possibly run diagnostic assessments, etc... . The psychiatrist typically has a crammed day seeing many patients for briefer periods. Psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists may work in a team, and the psychologist (i.e. neuropsychologist) is a diagnostician, which to me is what counts. Third, I've always been interested in pharmacology, the human brain and more recently, psychology, so the research way allows me to combine all three, and still have some clinical experience.

Psychologists vary in what they do research on, it's not only pharmacology.

As much as you may hate to hear it, counseling psychology, which many have said I'm good at, is not quite my area of interest. One of my professors who is a psychiatrist used to do counseling psychology as a therapist, and he said he moved to psychiatry because the counseling field was burning him out with low pay and you see people in their absolute worst state, which you may see with all psychiatry and psychology. But for him, there was the feeling that you weren't getting much done despite the hours of effort and struggling for each person you put in, so he moved to psychiatry as a way to better help.
   
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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 9th 2010, 01:54 PM

Psychiatrists focuse more on the medication side of things where pyschologists focus more on the mind.

After all the different ones iove seen, ive always gotten on bettter with pyschologists because it seems like they've always done more work with me.

Also a downside to being a pyschiatrist is that it takes a long time. You have to qualify to become a GP first which takes six years then go on to qulify as a psych.


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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 11th 2010, 03:36 PM

U need a Doctorate for both to be respected.

For Psychology

Minimum qualification: Masters degree

Better qualification: PsyD (this is a doctorate but there is less emphasis on research)

Best qualification: Ph.d (focused on research)

If you work for som1 else.. and u have a masters degree. you will not be promoted as high. and you will be more likely to do the less interesting work. Like be an assistant, or u do the boring/obvious cases.
   
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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 11th 2010, 03:40 PM

Ph.D is considered a better docotrate than PsyD.

With a Ph.D u can teach, practice, research.

With a PsyD u can only practice.

Ph.D is cheaper, because the university and the goverment(because they pay the skool) will help pay for it, or they will pay for it all (its all so hard to get in it)

PsyD is more expensive because there is less aid from the university and goverment.


They take the same amount of time to complete.
   
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Re: Psychiatrist or Psychologist? - July 11th 2010, 10:43 PM

I'm doing counseling Psych right now, basically don't do it for the money because it isn't very good. You'll need a master's, but to be a counselor you don't need to be a psychologist. You can get a masters in counseling and then take the licensing test and be a Licensed professional couselor and then train more to become an independent counselor if you want. To be a psychologist you'd need a PhD or PsyD which will take 4-7 years and even then, if you plan to actually counsel people you'll still need the license which takes 2-3 years depending on the program. To be a psychiatirst you'd have to go through medical school (which is why I'm not doing it)


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