Psychiatrist 2017-10-03T17:43:53+00:00


Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional, cognitive and behavioral disorders. Their medical education and post-graduate training make psychiatrists uniquely qualified to understand the growing database regarding the causes, mechanisms, manifestations and treatments of mental disorders, and how these brain disorders relate to other types of illness as well.

Psychiatry is sometimes confused with clinical psychology. Both fields are concerned with helping people achieve mental health and psychiatrists and clinical psychologists both diagnose and treat patients. Unlike psychologists, however, psychiatrists are medical doctors. Accordingly, they may order laboratory and other diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and other medical interventions, and coordinate with other physicians as part of their patients’ treatment. Psychiatrists also engage in research to gain further information about the causes and mechanisms of mental illness and to advance treatment. Some psychiatrists include in their work the practice of psychotherapy. Some choose to work with community organizations, like schools and the legal system, as a way to improve mental health.

Salary Range: $135,648 – $403,687 and higher.

Salary Notes: Psychiatrists a median salary of $245,673 in 2015. In Vermont, the annual mean salary is $199,540. This is due to the length and difficulty of their training. Salaries can vary greatly according to the type of practice, hours worked, geographic location and whether or not the psychiatrist works in the public or private sector.

Where you can study:
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT

Where you might work:
– Colleges and Universities – Community Agencies – Courts and Correctional Facilities – Emergency Rooms – General and Psychiatric Hospitals – Government Agencies – Hospice – Industry – Military – Nursing Homes – Private Practice – Rehabilitation Programs – Schools

Job Outlook: The need for psychiatrists is high in Vermont and is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. There is a particularly high need for child psychiatrists in Vermont.

Education, Licensing and Certification: Psychiatrists must complete the same rigorous education as other physicians. High school course work should have a heavy emphasis on math and science, followed by an undergraduate degree in one of the natural sciences. College is followed by four years of medical school and at least four years of residency training in psychiatry. Many candidates continue on for additional training so that they can further specialize in such areas as child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, psycho-pharmacology or psychoanalysis. After completing residency training, most psychiatrists seek certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Some states, like Vermont, have loan repayment programs to assist with educational debt in exchange for service commitments.

Professional Organizations:
American Psychiatric Association 703-907-7300
Vermont Psychiatric Association 802-223-7898