As teenagers, it is a major responsibility and life-changing decision to choose a major to study in college and a career you want to pursue. As the year is coming to an end, the incoming seniors should give some thought over the summer to their interests and how they can make it into a career. If you are still unsure and still haven’t done much research, here’s a brief explanation on how to get from here to there over the years.
Psychology is not a job you can get within 4 years of college like any other job. It takes a huge amount of dedication and patience. Psychiatrists, in particular, are mental health physicians and they work with people dealing with many issues such as trauma, mental illness, and addiction. So if this is a job you’re interested in, then here is how you go from a regular high school student to a successful psychiatrist.
Some high schools have a psychology elective you can take to learn more about the field before choosing it as your specialization. After high school, though, a student spends 12 or more years studying.
To become a psychiatrist you need a 4 year bachelor’s degree. There is no specific major that is required, however, many major in Biology and Chemistry. Some other classes a college student is more likely to take are: development psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, life science, statistics, biopsychology, and ethics. The classes that a student should complete are: advanced math, communications, anatomy, and other related fields. And the classes that students are expected to enroll in are: behavioral science, psychopathology, and psychiatry clerkship. All of these classes lead up to the big test that every doctor needs to take. All students need a passing score on the Medical College Admissions Test. Once they pass the test, they can start their residency.
After medical school, students must undergo supervised training. Residency can last from 3 to 8 years. It can usually take place in a clinical/hospital setting. During residency, students learn many new different things about their career. It helps guide them under the direction of licensed psychiatrists.
Residency lasts for a while as a training doctor but once they finish it, they are a step closer to their successful career. Soon as they are done with residency, it’s time to apply for a medical license and a board certification. For a medical license, it all depends on where you graduate from. If you graduate from an MD program, you take the USMLE and if you graduate from a DO program, you take the COMPLEX-USA. When students get their medical license, they can take the board certification test, which they can take as many times as they want until they pass. However, the certification must be renewed every 10 years. Students must take education programs throughout their career to remain certified. So, the schooling never ends.
As soon as you get the education you need and all of the certification you need, you can set out to become a successful psychiatrist! All of your education adds up to how successful you are. If you work even harder after all of your schooling, you can be extremely wealthy. The lowest pay a psychiatrist can make is $61,600 per year and the highest is $187,000 per year. However, the money is not the primary focus. As long as you keep pushing and working harder, you can achieve and reach your goal!