Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I’ve never done an AMA before but thought now may be a good time to reach out to the community given that people have a bit more time on their hands lately. Hopefully we can stimulate some interesting conversation.

I’m a junior doctor currently undertaking my post-graduate specialty training in psychiatry; my Bsc was in psychology before going in to medicine as a graduate so my career path started out very similar to those on this sub forum.

I’m mindful that a lot of people undertaking psychology degrees have an interest in working in mental health in the longer term. I’m also aware that, sadly, very few people get experience of working in the field as part of their undergraduate degree.

Very happy to answer questions on anything, but some question themes which may be helpful to others might include;
  • What it’s like to work in mental health
  • Any specifics about what it’s like to work in mental health during the current pandemic
  • Any general questions people may have about mental health or psychiatry
  • Any questions people may have about the transition from psychology to medicine

Hope I can be helpful to anyone interested!
2
reply
Noodlzzz
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
When you started your BSc what career path did you have in mind?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by Noodlzzz)
When you started your BSc what career path did you have in mind?
My path was a little convoluted if I’m honest. I was never on the typical “medical pathway” in terms of A levels etc. I took a gap year and never initially planned to go to university at all, but eventually fell in to psychology as a Bsc having studied it at A level.

Once at university I gained an interest in neuroscience, psychopharmacology psychopathology and discovered graduate entry medicine; the rest is history really! I always went in to medicine with the realistation that I would probably want to pursue psychiatry longer term, but I did consider general practice quite seriously as well.
1
reply
Noodlzzz
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Sinatrafan)
My path was a little convoluted if I’m honest. I was never on the typical “medical pathway” in terms of A levels etc. I took a gap year and never initially planned to go to university at all, but eventually fell in to psychology as a Bsc having studied it at A level.

Once at university I gained an interest in neuroscience, psychopharmacology psychopathology and discovered graduate entry medicine; the rest is history really! I always went in to medicine with the realistation that I would probably want to pursue psychiatry longer term, but I did consider general practice quite seriously as well.
Did you ever consider clinical psych? What made you choose psychiatry over it?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by Noodlzzz)
Did you ever consider clinical psych? What made you choose psychiatry over it?
I definitely did consider clinical psychology as most psychology graduates invariably do. For me personally, I preferred the medical model/approach and always liked the ideal of being medically trained. I was also aware of how competitive it was to get on to a DClinPsych course and whilst medical school is equally as competitive, once you’re in medicine then psychiatry is a very uncompetitive field.

Arguably I was drawn to the better career prospects are as well. There are more options for varied work (e.g. tribunals, court work, second opinion doctor work, Section 12 work, medical management, pharmaceutical work, as well as private practice, research and medical education) and the pay scales are more favourable for medics as well.
0
reply
Lord Asriel
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by Sinatrafan)
I definitely did consider clinical psychology as most psychology graduates invariably do. For me personally, I preferred the medical model/approach and always liked the ideal of being medically trained. I was also aware of how competitive it was to get on to a DClinPsych course and whilst medical school is equally as competitive, once you’re in medicine then psychiatry is a very uncompetitive field.

Arguably I was drawn to the better career prospects are as well. There are more options for varied work (e.g. tribunals, court work, second opinion doctor work, Section 12 work, medical management, pharmaceutical work, as well as private practice, research and medical education) and the pay scales are more favourable for medics as well.
I really think these are important points that are often overlooked. Clinical Psychology is competitive to get into, and quite competitive to move up the ladder once you qualify, whereas there is an acute shortage of medical graduates going into psychiatry. There are also options to become a medical psychotherapist with a medical degree, if people are that way inclined. Plus, I am sure the extra pay is attractive.

Personally, being a clinical psychologist who was involved in medical education in the past, and works to support medics through supervision and training, I am a huge advocate for grad entry medics coming from psychology undergraduate degrees. I find they value clinical psychologists (compared to some of the old school psychiatrist who think we are a nuisance), and are open to collaboration and new ways of working. II think its a great option for those that are talented and skilled, with the balance of academic and personal attributes that make for good clinicians, and recommend it to psychology graduates highly as something to consider.

For me I think my biggest reservation is more about the culture between medical school and DClinPsy. Medical school in my experience treats its students quite brutally, and there are hierarchies, snobberies (e.g. surgery is better than psychiatry) and subtle bullying at all levels (at least until you become consultant). This is based on observations in my academic work, but also my current clinical practice where I have treated my fair share of medical students for anxiety, depression and self harm.

However, on clinical psychology training, I would go as far to say its the opposite. Once you are on training it is intense, but you are hugely supported by a range of tutors, have lots of 1-on-1 training from your clinical supervisor and have tiny class sizes (I was one of 20) which are reminiscent of seminars rather than lectures at university. We had access to therapy, reflective practice and time reserved for research, and we were on a Band 6 salary and everyone is rooting for you to graduate. I was on first name terms with the staff and there was very little rank pulling, and as a supervisor I hugely value my current trainees and endevour not to treat them as disposable commodities, because they are you future peers and collaborators, not competitors or rivals. It was a very different mindset from what I observed.
Last edited by Lord Asriel; 1 year ago
1
reply
Academicbee123
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
I’m doing a joint honours in bio & psych, would that be accepted for graduate level medicine?
How is psychology bsc accepted?
0
reply
Lostx
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
What is your opinion on vortioxetine, clozapine, aripiprazol and lamotrigine and potentially lithium???

Is it healthy to take all of these? I’m really worried it’s going to mess my brain up as no one knows of the long term health risks to meds as they haven’t been around long enough.
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by Lord Asriel)
I really think these are important points that are often overlooked. Clinical Psychology is competitive to get into, and quite competitive to move up the ladder once you qualify, whereas there is an acute shortage of medical graduates going into psychiatry. There are also options to become a medical psychotherapist with a medical degree, if people are that way inclined. Plus, I am sure the extra pay is attractive.

Personally, being a clinical psychologist who was involved in medical education in the past, and works to support medics through supervision and training, I am a huge advocate for grad entry medics coming from psychology undergraduate degrees. I find they value clinical psychologists (compared to some of the old school psychiatrist who think we are a nuisance), and are open to collaboration and new ways of working. II think its a great option for those that are talented and skilled, with the balance of academic and personal attributes that make for good clinicians, and recommend it to psychology graduates highly as something to consider.

For me I think my biggest reservation is more about the culture between medical school and DClinPsy. Medical school in my experience treats its students quite brutally, and there are hierarchies, snobberies (e.g. surgery is better than psychiatry) and subtle bullying at all levels (at least until you become consultant). This is based on observations in my academic work, but also my current clinical practice where I have treated my fair share of medical students for anxiety, depression and self harm.

However, on clinical psychology training, I would go as far to say its the opposite. Once you are on training it is intense, but you are hugely supported by a range of tutors, have lots of 1-on-1 training from your clinical supervisor and have tiny class sizes (I was one of 20) which are reminiscent of seminars rather than lectures at university. We had access to therapy, reflective practice and time reserved for research, and we were on a Band 6 salary and everyone is rooting for you to graduate. I was on first name terms with the staff and there was very little rank pulling, and as a supervisor I hugely value my current trainees and endevour not to treat them as disposable commodities, because they are you future peers and collaborators, not competitors or rivals. It was a very different mindset from what I observed.
Some really good points raised here. Medical school is a really tough time for many reasons and I am pleased that the old school consultants and way of teaching are being phased out; I thankfully have experienced very little of that during my 8 year medical career.

I do however think that medical students do need to build resilience through medical school. You can’t be too soft and fluffy because unfortunately the reality of being an F1 and F2 doctor does hit you hard when you start work. As an F1/F2 you will see things, do things and be put in immensely stressful situations that it isn’t normal for people to be put in; it’s important that that step up isn’t made to be any bigger than it already is.

I think post graduate psychiatry training is thankfully very supportive, especially compared to post graduate medical and surgical training. We are made to feel very valued as juniors and there is a big focus on supervision and reflective practice (we term them Balint groups in psychiatry but the gist is the same); again this isn’t found in other medical and surgical specialties.

Psychiatry has always been the poor unglamorous cousin of medicine and surgery. Thankfully in the NHS we all get paid the same regardless of specialty, the only difference is that in psychiatry we pretty much get to go home on time!
1
reply
username3118454
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
Does your degree in Psychology help in your current specialty? Are they similar?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by Lostx)
What is your opinion on vortioxetine, clozapine, aripiprazol and lamotrigine and potentially lithium???

Is it healthy to take all of these? I’m really worried it’s going to mess my brain up as no one knows of the long term health risks to meds as they haven’t been around long enough.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t be professional, or appropriate, for me to give specific advice to people in this context. I would however encourage you to talk to your psychiatrist if you have specific concerns and would stress the importance of never suddenly stopping or amending medication unless under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist.

Many of these medications have been around for many years (lithium since 1947 for example) and it is always a balance between the risks of medication and the risk of the underlying health condition.
1
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by Academicbee123)
I’m doing a joint honours in bio & psych, would that be accepted for graduate level medicine?
How is psychology bsc accepted?
Unfortunately it’s been almost 10 years since I applied to medical school so I’m not particularly up to date on the ins and outs of entry requirements! That being said there is massive variation in the requirements between universities. The good news is that nowadays many medical schools accept any degree (including BAs) with the focus being more on general academic performance and the strength of your application in other areas (e.g. volunteering). I’d recommend reviewing each of the medical schools entry requirements and aim to apply tactically. Unfortunately you normally have to apply where you're chances are best rather than where you would like to go most.
0
reply
Hazelly
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
How did you find the degree in psychology? Was there anything in the degree that you disliked?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by Hazelly)
How did you find the degree in psychology? Was there anything in the degree that you disliked?
It was ever such a long time ago for me now! Degrees will vary a lot between universities and you will be able to avoid topics you dislikes to a certain extent what with student selected components and modules.

Psychology is a very broad subject, being very philosophical at the social end and very hard science at the other end with the neuroscience stuff. I personally enjoyed most aspects of my degree although statistics always left me a bit dry, which is of course is unavoidable and a large component of any psych degree.

Generally it was all very helpful though. When you sit post graduate exams with the Royal College of Psychiatrists (to obtain membership) a large proportion of the exams test understanding of psychological theory which was obviously all very familiar to me when I sat them.

As a psychiatry trainee you will do a short CBT/CAT case and a long psychodynamic psychotherapy case. Therefore having a good understanding of psychological theory helps when you learn how to deliver psychological therapy.
0
reply
Lostx
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
(Original post by Sinatrafan)
Unfortunately it wouldn’t be professional, or appropriate, for me to give specific advice to people in this context. I would however encourage you to talk to your psychiatrist if you have specific concerns and would stress the importance of never suddenly stopping or amending medication unless under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist.

Many of these medications have been around for many years (lithium since 1947 for example) and it is always a balance between the risks of medication and the risk of the underlying health condition.
That’s ok, I guess I just have to ask my psychiatrist.

Are you ever scared on the ward or have been assaulted?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by Lostx)
That’s ok, I guess I just have to ask my psychiatrist.

Are you ever scared on the ward or have been assaulted?
It’s always a risk and I’ve have a few close shaves, but never anything properly sketchy. The important thing is to not take too many chances, be cautious and see people with other members of staff if in doubt. The nurses spend a lot more time with the patients and therefore carry a lot more risk than the doctors. I currently work on a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) so the risk is higher, but also the precautions to prevent violence are increased. I think A+E and primary care can be just as risky as they don’t have the same facilities or risk precautions in place that psychiatric services do.
0
reply
empeño
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#17
Report 1 year ago
#17
Hey, I did BSc Psychology (graduating this year) with a place on a grad entry med course. I'm really interested in psychiatry as a specialty (although open to everything at the moment), partly because of the work-life balance it allows you to have, which I know is definitely not the case with every specialty. The thing that puts me off is how long the specialty training is. How is it being in training for so long, with continuous assessments etc.? I also wonder what the pay's like throughout those years, are you still on a 'junior' salary throughout all that training? Thanks in advance
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#18
(Original post by Marni_)
Hey, I did BSc Psychology (graduating this year) with a place on a grad entry med course. I'm really interested in psychiatry as a specialty (although open to everything at the moment), partly because of the work-life balance it allows you to have, which I know is definitely not the case with every specialty. The thing that puts me off is how long the specialty training is. How is it being in training for so long, with continuous assessments etc.? I also wonder what the pay's like throughout those years, are you still on a 'junior' salary throughout all that training? Thanks in advance
Congratulations on your place in medical school; you must be very excited to get started!

Training is long, but the way I look at it is that you in essence get a guaranteed promotion and pay rise every year; not many other jobs offer you that kind of career progression.

Medicine is very much based on lifetime learning so you will have to constantly be engaging in ongoing professional development throughout your entire career.

Being in a training post has benefits as you do get protected time for teaching opportunities and it is nice to have the variation rather than just be doing clinical work 40-50 hours per week.

Pay wise, you will progress relatively quickly up the pay scales. In F1 you will be on £30,000-£35,000 depending on various factors. By the time you reach your fifth year post qualification (CT3) you will be on £60,000-£65,000. They have also now introduced a new pay point at ST6 meaning that most ST6’s will be on nearly £70,000 a year.

Whilst it isn’t as good as a consultant’s pay, its a reasonable salary to be on whilst you’re still relatively young.
0
reply
harryoke22
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 year ago
#19
(Original post by Sinatrafan)
Congratulations on your place in medical school; you must be very excited to get started!

Training is long, but the way I look at it is that you in essence get a guaranteed promotion and pay rise every year; not many other jobs offer you that kind of career progression.

Medicine is very much based on lifetime learning so you will have to constantly be engaging in ongoing professional development throughout your entire career.

Being in a training post has benefits as you do get protected time for teaching opportunities and it is nice to have the variation rather than just be doing clinical work 40-50 hours per week.

Pay wise, you will progress relatively quickly up the pay scales. In F1 you will be on £30,000-£35,000 depending on various factors. By the time you reach your fifth year post qualification (CT3) you will be on £60,000-£65,000. They have also now introduced a new pay point at ST6 meaning that most ST6’s will be on nearly £70,000 a year.

Whilst it isn’t as good as a consultant’s pay, its a reasonable salary to be on whilst you’re still relatively young.
Hi there, you writing about your experiences has made quite reflective on my new choices in regards to Medicine and Psychology. Unfortunately, last year I was unsuccessful in securing a place at med school, and I decided to take up Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. Then last October, I realised I wasn't ready to give up and thank God I was able to secure a place for medicine this year at Imperial. The truth is I liked psychology, and if I decide to leave Trinity for Imperial, I fear that it may permanently shut the door to Psychology. Surgery has always been a primary focus of mine, but the more I learn about medical careers, the more confused I become. Although I do not have to figure out which path to take now, my question is that if I go down the medical school line first, would it more challenging to become a psychiatrist?
0
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#20
(Original post by harryoke22)
Hi there, you writing about your experiences has made quite reflective on my new choices in regards to Medicine and Psychology. Unfortunately, last year I was unsuccessful in securing a place at med school, and I decided to take up Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. Then last October, I realised I wasn't ready to give up and thank God I was able to secure a place for medicine this year at Imperial. The truth is I liked psychology, and if I decide to leave Trinity for Imperial, I fear that it may permanently shut the door to Psychology. Surgery has always been a primary focus of mine, but the more I learn about medical careers, the more confused I become. Although I do not have to figure out which path to take now, my question is that if I go down the medical school line first, would it more challenging to become a psychiatrist?
Medical careers can be really daunting which is why I think so many junior doctors are finding it hard to commit to speciality training these days.

I would keep an open mind throughout medical school as you will find your interests change over time. There is also a difference between what you enjoy most “academically” and what job you can actually see yourself doing for 40-50 hours per week.

Psychiatry is fortunately a very uncompetitive speciality so you will have no issues getting on a psychiatry training programme if you decide you would like to pursue psychiatry in the longer term. You don’t need any formal qualifications in psychology to get on to a training programme.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How do you prefer to get careers advice?

I like to speak to my friends and family (12)
11.01%
I like to do my own research online using careers specific websites (72)
66.06%
I like speaking to the careers advisors at school, college or uni (14)
12.84%
I prefer to listen watch videos or listen to podcasts of people in my chosen career (9)
8.26%
Something else (let us know in the thread) (2)
1.83%

Watched Threads

View All