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Career Story: Psychiatrist At A City Hospital

Psychiatrist At A City Hospital

Job Title: Psychiatrist

Type of Company: City hospital

Education: BA in English, Amherst College •• MD, Dartmouth Medical School

Previous Experience: I have worked in the same hospital for 19 years, moved in to current position 12 years ago.

Job Tasks: I am a psychiatrist who manages a designated psychiatric emergency service. This is a special kind of emergency room dedicated to treating acute psychiatric/psychological crises such as suicidal thoughts or behavior, psychotic symptoms (hearing voices, believing things that are not real) , overwhelming depression or anxiety, out of control drug or alcohol abuse, intense distress around school, relationships etc. The service is staffed by psychiatric doctors, nurses, and social workers. A minority of patients are hospitalized after an evaluation (about 1/3), but most are discharged to some kind of outpatient counseling, possibly started on a medication to help with their symptoms.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are meeting people in acute distress, trying to rapidly but compassionately understand their situation, and come up with interventions to help them feel and function better.

The hardest parts of my job are due to the limitations in resources (lack of health insurance, finances etc..) that make it hard for patients to get the help they need. I have to negotiate on a daily basis with health insurance companies arguing for benefits that I believe patients need to get better.

Job Tips: To be a psychiatrist you have to complete pre-med courses in college, get into medical school (and pay for for medical school), then complete a psychiatric residency which takes an additional 4 years. It's a long haul and requires commitment, patience, and true enthusiasm for the field. If you don't find medicine fascinating, the demands of becoming a doctor - psychiatric or otherwise - will wear you down!

Additional Thoughts: My job is NEVER boring. Every day is stimulating and I always feel that I'm making a contribution to the well-being of others. Understanding the human psyche and experience is a never-ending source of interest. I feel lucky to get paid to do what I find so rewarding. Important personal qualities for success include self-disclipline, altruism, and the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes without judging them.

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For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

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Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

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Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Psychology - BA, General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
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  • Programs: BS in Psychology, AA in Psychology
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Argosy University
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Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Clinical Psychology (PsyD), Psychology (BA) (Online), Psychology (BA)
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Bachelor

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
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