If you are considering a career in psychiatry, you need to fully understand the steps and requirements on how to be a psychiatrist. The road toward your desired field is marked by several milestones, namely:
- Educational or academic training
- Training in a chosen specialty
- Residency training
- State licensing
- Board certification
Training for a psychiatric career begins early. This is why it is important to decide whether you wish to follow this field early on.
An aspiring psychiatrist will begin training in undergraduate school, where the student has to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This is required before he or she will be admitted to medical school, where the formal training will be conducted.
College students who plan on pursuing a career in psychiatry can choose any related major, although one of the best foundational degrees is psychology. Regardless of what they choose to major in, however, the students should take the required courses, mainly the natural sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and physics. All of these are prerequisites to subjects in medical schools.
After obtaining college education, the next step is medical school, which they have to attend for four years followed by specialty training. These four years of medical school are divided into two years of classroom instruction and two years of clinical experience with supervision.
Admission to medical school is not a guarantee for every aspiring psychiatrist as this can be very competitive. Even students with high GPA ratings will not find it easy to get admitted. One way to increase your chances of getting admitted is to volunteer at hospitals and local health centers, especially mental health clinics. The added hands-on experience will help make you a more capable candidate for medical school.