Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I am applying for university, however I don't understand which course to take which will enable me to become a Psychiatrist. As a person still in college, I haven't attended any open days at any universities, so I am rather confused on what to be looking at. Do I have to do an overall Psychology course and go through the motions of studying, or is there a specific course which will immediately take me into the career of a psychiatrist?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by KaylaLew)
    I am applying for university, however I don't understand which course to take which will enable me to become a Psychiatrist. As a person still in college, I haven't attended any open days at any universities, so I am rather confused on what to be looking at. Do I have to do an overall Psychology course and go through the motions of studying, or is there a specific course which will immediately take me into the career of a psychiatrist?
    As far as I know you have to do a medical degree to become a psychiatrist.
    If you do a psychology degree the closest you will become to being a psychiatrist is being a clinical psychologist which I think is very similar but you can't prescribe drugs like a medical doctor.
    I'm no expert though, you could try googling it or looking on the nhs website.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    No. You want medicine for psychiatry generally. Psychology will lead you into... Psychology.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    You need to do medicine unfortunately


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It all depends on what you think psychiatry is by the way. A lot of people have misconceptions about psychiatry and actually get it confused with a clinical psychologist. What exactly is it you want to be doing?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Yep psychiatrists are medical doctors and they are quite different to clinical psychologists; although they of course overlap in areas.

    Psychiatrists will have a much larger knowledge base compared to a psychologist and their eye is always on managing and detecting the medical causes and sequelae of psychiatric illness/treatments.

    Their training is far longer (13 years compared to about 7 years) and that is reflected in the seniority they take in a mental health team. So the difference does goes beyond simply being able to prescribe anything in the British National Formulary.

    Clinical psychologists are chiefly concerned with behavioral therapies in treating mental health issues. Psychiatrists will normally be very proficient in similar therapies and depending on local treatment guidelines, types of patients they see etc, they may favor a more psychological or more medical approach to treating their patients.

    Psychiatrists tend to be more involved in the legal side of mental health, e.g sectioning. That normally requires two doctors and a social worker/carer to be enforced. Psychologists and other professionals will be more involved in the social management of a patient.

    So they can be quite different roles despite the name similarity, so it's worth learning about both and seeing which you'd prefer ad like to pursue.

    Clinical psychology is also extremely competitive to get in to, whilst psychiatry is a relatively uncompetitive medical specialty (you do need to undergo 7 years of competitive medical education before you reach that point though).

    All the best.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    The biggest difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist can prescribe drugs, which requires a medical degree, and a psychologist can't.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    You could look into counselling or therapy instead, which is a similar sort of field, except they aren't doctors and cannot prescribe medication. Unfortunately as others have said you need to study Medicine to be a psychiatrist.

    Have a look at this website, it contains a lot of information about potential careers with a psychology degree.

    http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore...cal-therapies/
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Hang on a second.

    As a Clinical Psychologist, who works very closely with psychiatrists, I would have very differing views to some of the above.

    First of all, its true that you need to study medicine to go down the psychiatry route. It's also true that Psychologists (in this country at least) do not prescribe meds. The rest I would take issue with.

    Psychiatrists will have a much larger knowledge base compared to a psychologist and their eye is always on managing and detecting the medical causes and sequelae of psychiatric illness/treatments.
    Larger, as in broader I agree. A medic will have trained in general medicine, biochem, surgery and anatomy etc. However, their training in psychiatry/psychology in the early stages is fairly cursory, and they get their real training at the F2 level and beyond (long after their undergrad studies). They will of course sit the MRCPsych exams and have training throughout their Specialty registrar (5-6 years most of it in the workplace) before they can become a consultant.

    Their training is far longer (13 years compared to about 7 years) and that is reflected in the seniority they take in a mental health team.
    Compare that with a clinical psychologist who will be focussing on just psychology in their 3 year undergrad (mainly core academic knowledge/ basic research methods), Have on average 3-4 years as an assistant, or a PhD as in my case, and years in their DClinPsy (another 3 years, working in the NHS, plus attending weekly lectures 1-2 days a week). Thats when you qualify (roughly equivalent to the Specialty Registrar stage) and you need a further minimum of 6 years before you get to consultant level. Lets put it this way, my medical colleagues as me will be eligible to become consultants before I will despite entering university at the same time.

    I have met very few clinical psychologists who enter university at 18 and are fully qualified at 25. (The average age of getting onto clinical training is 27-28)

    Psychiatrists will normally be very proficient in similar therapies and depending on local treatment guidelines, types of patients they see etc, they may favor a more psychological or more medical approach to treating their patients.
    While few psychiatrists do undertake specialist therapy training, the vast majority get a fairly cursory background in it. Partly this is due to the sheer demands of their workload and role. Its quite telling that in my team, I am the one tasked with delivering most of the therapy training to the F2s/registars and supervise their practice. Thats not to say the psychiatrists aren't awesome at their clinical decision making or expertise, its just different.
    sychiatrists tend to be more involved in the legal side of mental health, e.g sectioning. That normally requires two doctors and a social worker/carer to be enforced. Psychologists and other professionals will be more involved in the social management of a patient.
    I agree with this, but we work closely and these two areas often go hand in hand.

    The biggest difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist can prescribe drugs, which requires a medical degree, and a psychologist can't.
    Nah. That is certainly a difference, but not the main one. The biggest area of difference is probably the background and orientation of training. Psychiatrists have a grounding in medicine, whilst psychologists come from behavioural sciences. The medical model is quite different to the bio-psycho-social model of seeing things.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Compare that with a clinical psychologist who will be focussing on just psychology in their 3 year undergrad (mainly core academic knowledge/ basic research methods), Have on average 3-4 years as an assistant, or a PhD as in my case, and years in their DClinPsy (another 3 years, working in the NHS, plus attending weekly lectures 1-2 days a week). Thats when you qualify (roughly equivalent to the Specialty Registrar stage) and you need a further minimum of 6 years before you get to consultant level. Lets put it this way, my medical colleagues as me will be eligible to become consultants before I will despite entering university at the same time.

    I have met very few clinical psychologists who enter university at 18 and are fully qualified at 25. (The average age of getting onto clinical training is 27-28)
    I don't think years as a research assistant can quite count as formal education, and PhDs are becoming more required these days in medicine to reach consultant levels positions. The key difference is that it takes more years of education to become a psychiatrist. It can take many years to become a clinical psychologist as you rightly point out, but that length is a reflection of its level of competitiveness and the various hoops you need to jump through rather than the time demands of formal training.

    I also think simply comparing number of years is deceptive as well. I medical degree isn't simply 2 years longer than a psychology degree, they are worlds apart in regards to number of hours invested, difficulty and intensity. So I don't believe you can compare a psychology education (pre-doctoral level) made up of mainly essay writing and research, to the knowledge heavy, patient contact and clinical skill based education of medical training.

    That isn't to say psychology education isn't very good, it's just that medicine is very different to most degrees and you simply get 3 times as much formal teaching per week as you do on a psychology degree.

    In my experience I learned more in my first semester of medical school than my entire psychology degree. In our psychology module at medical school they condensed all the information from my Bsc pretty much into 12 lectures. Medical education is extremely fast paced. As the OP is obviously at the pre-undergraduate phase of a potential career path, I think it is important to stress the differences between the two as an undergraduate experience.

    In areas of psychology you are correct that clinical psychologists will always have a superior knowledge background, but as a general knowledge base to treat a patient psychologically and medically, the demands of psychiatric training are far higher and the end result is a larger knowledge and skills base relevant to healthcare (obviously psychology education produces people with superb research skills, which the medical education system does not).

    As a medic or a clinical psychologist you will also be seeing patients, and as an undergraduate, RA, or PhD psychology student you will normally have very little patient contact (if any); you only get that at the Dclincpsych level. As a medic you would have normally seen patients since your first year of undergrad, so your knowledge base of working with patients is far greater in that respect as well.

    All the best.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I also think simply comparing number of years is deceptive as well. I medical degree isn't simply 2 years longer than a psychology degree, they are worlds apart in regards to number of hours invested, difficulty and intensity. So I don't believe you can compare a psychology education (pre-doctoral level) made up of mainly essay writing and research, to the knowledge heavy, patient contact and clinical skill based education of medical training.
    I think this is a fair point. Undergrad medicine is far more intensive than undergrad psychology. However, I will say that more and more of the assistant applications I am receiving (and who will become credible applicants for future training) are from undergraduates who have accrued significant paid clinical experience as nursing assistants or support workers whilst studying. Granted this is not exactly the same as medics, but the days when psychology graduates did only their degree and could still hope to get onto training are fast fading.

    I don't think years as a research assistant can quite count as formal education, and PhDs are becoming more required these days in medicine to reach consultant levels positions.
    Maybe not RAs, but many trainees do have 1-2 year masters courses (and 3+ year PhDs), or ongoing IAPT qualifications. But I am aware that getting to consultant is not an easy ride either.

    it's just that medicine is very different to most degrees and you simply get 3 times as much formal teaching per week as you do on a psychology degree.
    Agreed, but as someone who has taught medical students in the past, and still teaches F1/F2s, I am also aware that medical cohorts are large, and students don't get the intense level of input you would get in a 20 person trainee cohort, or the high degree of 1 on 1 supervision that clinical psychology trainees do (often 1-2 hours one-on-one a week, which is more or less hands on instruction). I do supervise psychiatry trainees too for CBT, but far less intensively. However, I think it hard to draw equivalence. They are both fairly intensive pathways in my opinion, but I guess it's natural for us to have our own allegiances.

    As the OP is obviously at the pre-undergraduate phase of a potential career path, I think it is important to stress the differences between the two as an undergraduate experience.
    I think this is a fair point too. While it is possible for someone on the path to clinical training to rack up clinical experience by the time they get onto clinical training at 27, it is certainly not standard for all psychology undergrads, and there is far more variability. Saying that, I will say that courses require more and more substantial clinical experience with patient contact in a variety of settings to be competitive when it comes to getting on training, so it's almost unheard of for people to be interacting with their first service user when they start their DClinPsy.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: August 6, 2013

University open days

  1. University of Bradford
    University-wide Postgraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  2. University of Buckingham
    Psychology Taster Tutorial Undergraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  3. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Campus Visit Undergraduate
    Wed, 1 Aug '18
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.