How to Become a Child Psychiatrist

A child psychiatrist is someone who is responsible for evaluating the medical condition of a child via counseling. They can subscribe medical prescriptions but may spend a thorough amount of time doing evaluations before doing this.

If you are interesting in becoming a child psychiatrist then there are a few routes that you can take. The two major ones include: consultation practices and clinical practices.

Clinical practices revolve around providing children with counseling in resident homes or facilities. Consultation practices revolved around helping children in courts, hospitals, or schools.

As a child psychiatrist, you may be required to specialize in a certain area of psychology as well as specialize on certain age groups (like adolescents or infants). You main duties will be to diagnose things like obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Job Description

Child psychiatrists are professional and licensed workers responsible for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating children with mental disorders. You will be able to sign off on prescriptions as provide other treatments for the children.

Child psychiatrists are designed to help children improve so that they can lead normal lives. Here are few more of their general duties and responsibilities:

  • Utilize a variety of treatments to help children including psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and medication.
  • Schedule patient appointments order to provide counseling for them.
  • Listen to the patient, learn about their past, and determine why they are behaving in certain ways.
  • Provide tips and solutions for helping them get better and remove their negative behavioral patterns.
  • Discuss possible treatments with parents while maintaining 100% confidentiality.

As a child psychiatrist, you will need to have a lot of mental stamina since you are going to be working with children on a daily basis. You will need to diagnose a wide range of mental disorders including ADD, autism, and depression.

Educational Requirements

For those individuals who are interested in becoming a child psychiatrist, you will need to partake in an extensive amount of training beforehand. You will need to start your career by receiving a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can be really helpful. Make sure that you acquire this from an accredited institution.

You will also need to complete medical school and participate in specific number of hours in clinical working hours to receive your medical degree. This will take an additional 4 years to complete but is essential for becoming a child psychiatrist.

The majority of medical school will consist of two main areas: clinical years and pre-clinical years. Pre-clinical years will help you build a solid foundation for understanding patient care. You will learn about bodily systems as well as other major types of diseases. You will become familiar with medical technology as well as be introduced to the basic methods for caring for a patient.

Coursework in medical school will include medical ethics, pharmacology, and pathology. After completing their medical degree, you will need to complete a residency in psychiatry before becoming a child psychiatrist. These will provide you with more training and more experience. You will learn how to better treat patients as well as learn how to apply critical psychiatric techniques.

Residents will learn how to interview children, diagnose their mental illness, and successfully treat them. All of this information will be learned under the guidance of a professional.

Residencies provide future child psychiatrists with the opportunity to work with a variety of patients. Candidates looking to acquire a position as a child psychiatrist may also need to participate in a fellowship program that lasts about 2 years.

Additional Requirements

Aside from the requirements above, child psychiatrists will be required to become both licensed and board certified. As a result, they will need to take the following exams and pass them:

  • Medical Licensing Examination
  • Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam

In order to become certified, potential child psychiatrists will need to apply with the ABMS “American Board of Medical Specialists”.

Salary and Career Outlook

Psychiatrists in general have some of the highest paying positions in the United States. A child psychiatrist can easily earn over 6-figures per year. The average annual income for someone in this position is $178,000 while more experienced professionals can earn $280,000 per year.

The job outlook for child psychiatrists is also quite promising. By the year 2031, their demand is expected to grow substantially.

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