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It's not uncommon for the average person to mistake psychiatry and psychology as the same field of study – but they're not. Psychiatry is the study, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders using psychotherapy, psychoactive medication and other psychiatric modalities. One of the most distinct differences between the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry are the education and training requirements. The most apparent difference between psychiatrists and psychologists is that psychiatristics are medical doctors that can prescribe drugs and psychologists aren't – but the differences between these two disciplines go a bit deeper. A few jurisdictions in the United States, including New Mexico and Louisiana, now allow psychologists to prescribe medications. If you're looking for a career in therapy, then both psychology and psychiatry are viable options. However, if you're not up to five to eight years of graduate school, then maybe you should consider a career as a licensed counselor or social worker.
While both psychiatrists and psychologists treat people suffering with mental issues and disorders, they are in fact not the same. The mental disorders psychiatrists treat include behavioural, affective, perceptual and cognitive abnormalities.
A psychiatrist has a degree in medicine, where a psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology. Psychiatrists typically focus on the applied discipline of mental health treatment and employ modalities such as psychotherapy.
Psychologists that can prescribe medications are sometimes referred to as medical psychologists. Both counseling and social work only require two to three years of graduate level education.



In order to differentiate the two, it's helpful to first understand the fundamentals of each discipline. All psychiatrists are also medical doctors, must have a medical degree to practice in the United States. After medical school, psychiatrists are required to complete a four-year residency training program in mental health before qualifying for state licensure. While psychologists also treat mental illness, many focus almost exclusively on clinical psychology research designed to learn more about cognitive and human behavior. Do you see yourself administering psychological assessments, conducting psychotherapy, or being involved in research? Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who have completed medical school and can prescribe medications. Depending on the severity of the mental disorder, patients may be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. They explore and attempt to understand the neurological and physiological processes of the brain and how these processes affect behavior.
Many psychiatrists pursue specialized training in specific areas such as addiction treatment, geriatric psychiatry, or child psychiatry, to mention just a few. When involved in research, psychiatrists typically focus on concepts that revolve around psychiatric medication. As more and more psychologists begin prescribing medications, fewer and fewer difference will exist between psychologists and psychiatrists. Psychiatric Nurses perform many of the same functions as psychologists and psychiatrists, including diagnosis of mental disorders, administering psychotherapy, and prescribing medications. As mentioned, to become a psychiatrist an individual must obtain a medical degree, which may include the Doctor of Osteopathy degree.


If you want to make a doctor's salary and prescribe medications, then you should seriously consider a career in psychiatry.
They are licensed mental health professionals that use psychological therapies and interventions to assist those strugging with mental, emotional and behavioral issues.
These include cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, child psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, behavioral psychology, social psychology, and industrial psychology, among others. It typically takes between five and seven years to complete a doctoral-level psychology program. To better understand the difference between these two fields of study, it helps to have clear understanding of each individual discipline. The job outlook for psychiatrists is bright and job growth within the field is expected to be higher than that for most other occupations.
Psychologists use their specialized knowledge to provide diagnosis, assessments and treatments of mental health problems. Upon completion of all education requirements, psychologists must also complete a one to two year internship in order to gain licensure in the state where they plan on practicing.
As psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors, they're one of the higest paid of all professionals working in any field related to psychology. Some states also require an additional two years of supervised practice – much like the residency program required to become a psychiatrist.
Psychologists work in universities, industrial settings, human development, health care, forensic investigation and sports.



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