A psychiatrist is responsible for treating, preventing and diagnosing mental illnesses and disorders of the mind. Psychiatrists are also required to implement treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy along with additional psychotherapeutic treatments and various medications. Understanding the physiology of the body is also necessary when working toward becoming a psychiatrist, especially as it is required to prescribe medications to patients as needed.
Analyzing patients to understand behavioral patterns, emotions and feelings that are being expressed is necessary for a psychiatrist in both individual and group therapy settings. In addition to analyzing patients, a psychiatrist is responsible for developing a plan of action to help with changing behavioral patterns and improving a patient's overall happiness with lifestyle changes along with possibly prescribing additional therapy and medications for the patient. A psychiatrist must also meet with other medical professionals to collaborate, evaluate and review current treatment plans and the progress of patients. Discussing the outcomes of treatments, trials and medications is also a responsibility of a psychiatrist.
Working as a psychiatrist often requires more than 60 hours weekly and can be demanding in a hospital setting or when working in a state facility. Psychiatrists must have the ability to communicate with a wide range of personalities on a daily basis without allowing emotion to interfere with analyzing, treating, or prescribing medications for any patient. Working as a psychiatrist can be done within one's own private office, in local hospitals and in various institutions that treat patients with mental illnesses and disorders.
- Prescribe, direct and administer psychotherapeutic treatments or medications.
- Diagnose, treat and help prevent disorders of the mind.
- Manage caseload and documentation.
- Review, evaluate and collaborate with other professionals to discuss treatment plans, progress and outcomes.