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Treat patients with mental health issues.

What does a Psychiatrist do?

A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who specializes in the treatment of mental health patients. Psychiatrists generally work in a hospital, private office, or community health center. Because of your MD certification you can prescribe medicine to patients, which makes a Psychiatrist different than a Psychologist.

What are mental health problems? Psychosis, Schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, or addictions are examples. Any emotional or mental-processing function that the brain provides has the potential to malfunction. Such as when the chemicals that control mood get out of balance, resulting in feelings of depression or anxiety. Or when the electric energy in the brain sends the wrong message to the body, which causes memory, sleep, and thought-pattern problems.

When emotions or addictions interfere with a patient’s life, they come to you to help sort it out. Your job is to assess and diagnose their condition. This is achieved by interviewing the patient and performing tests such as CAT scans and stress tests. Once you’re able to identify the problem, you work to prevent, reduce, or eliminate symptoms.

In order to offer relief to the patient, you use a variety of techniques. You formulate a treatment plan that may include talk therapy, psychotherapy, electroshock, or drug therapies. Then you counsel the patient through these procedures, constantly evaluating his or her progress. During treatment, you consult with other professionals including Psychologists and the Primary Care Doctor to gain a better understanding of the patient.

Other responsibilities of this job might involve research, or the supervision of Nurses, Physicians, and residents in the hospital. In addition, you might specialize within an age or diagnosis group.