The Alaska Psychiatric Resident Education Program offers a unique way for students to experience clinical practice in an exciting environment. Living in Alaska is quite an adventure as many activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, bicycling and mountain climbing are available in such a short distance. The state of the art psychiatry is practiced. A wide variety range of clinical training opportunities are offered. This includes both inpatient and outpatient general adult, child and adolescent psychiatry as well as the full spectrum of subspecialties in behavioral and mental health care some of which include cross cultural, forensic, intensive community support, addiction and geriatric consultation.
Psychiatrists are medical and osteopathic physicians. Students in Alaska are taught to specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of mental, emotional and addictive disorders. Many schools focus on some of the most personal of health concerns. They are basically trained to consider biology, psychology, social situation, culture and spirituality in every patient care interaction. Once the students had understood these components of the mental illness, they are trained to be qualified enough to order diagnostic lab tests, to prescribe medications, to evaluate and treat psychological and interpersonal problems, and to give continuing care for psychiatric problems. Lastly, the student is prepared to do what is most tough which is to help the individuals and families who have been coping with any stress or crisis in their lives.
There are many prerequisites a student has to fulfill before he or she can be capable enough to study further or opt for a career in psychiatry in Alaska. First of all a 4 year M.D. program is required with a bachelor’s degree including the curriculum of subjects like physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry. During the program, psychiatry will not be the main concern for the student as he will go through clinical experiences in a variety of subjects such as surgery, paediatrics, and not only in psychiatry. It is after the program that the student can take the psychiatry clerkship which lasts for about one or two months, after which he or she will be able to pursue residency with psychiatry as their main concern.