How to Become a Child Psychiatrist

A Child Psychiatrist is a Board approved and certified professional that provides mental evaluations, counseling and medical prescriptions to their child patients.

Some Child Psychiatrists can also provide their services to adult patients and spend their time treating both types of clients.

For those who want to solely become a Child Psychiatrist , their route resembles that of a general Psychiatrist.

They must fulfill educational, certification and a psychiatry residency requirement in order to practice in the field.

People who want to become a Child Psychiatrist can also choose from a couple of routes to work in their profession of choice.

These routes include finding opportunities in two sectors: Clinical and Consultation practices.

Clinical openings consist of providing inpatient or outpatient services in managed care facilities, residential homes or private or nonprofit practices.

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While consultation opportunities can be found in schools, hospitals or courts.

In addition, Child Psychiatrists can become specialized in certain areas focusing on a certain age, such as infants or adolescents.

They can also specialize on only one diagnosis: depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, eating disorders or Attention Deficit Disorder for example.

Education Requirements to Become a Child Psychiatrist

Those who are interested and want to become a Child Psychiatrist need to complete extensive educational and training requirements.

Potential Child Psychiatrists need to begin their career by completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or similar track.

After completing a Bachelor’s program from an accredited institution, candidates need to complete medical school which includes learning general information about the body and how it works.

They also need to participate in and complete clinical rotations in a variety of areas including psychiatry.

A medical doctor degree typically takes about four years to complete and will prepare students to practice as Child Psychiatrists.

After completing a medical degree, future Child Psychiatrists need to complete a residency in Psychiatry.

Residencies provide the training and experience needed in order to diagnose and treat patients.

The first year of residency involves applying Psychiatric techniques in order to learn basic skills on how to treat patients.

Residents will apply their knowledge to assist in interviewing, diagnosing and treating patients under the guidance of a licensed professional.

Residents will have the opportunity to work with a variety of patients including children.

Candidates looking into a specialization within Psychiatry can join a fellowship program which typically lasts about two years.

A candidate will practice their specialty during the two years and perform research on it.

Finally, Child Psychiatrists need to be board certified and licensed in order to practice.

A candidate needs to take and pass one of the following exams:

  • Medical Licensing Examination
  • Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam

In order to get board certified, candidates can apply with the American Board of Medical Specialists.

Visit their website at: ABMS

Child Psychiatrist Job Description

Psychiatrists are licensed professionals that are qualified to provide mental evaluations, diagnostics and treatment as well as sign off on prescriptions.

Their daily duties revolve around providing care and treatment to their patients.

Child Psychiatrists have to also work with a patient’s parents and provide results and treatment options to them to help their child improve.

  • Use a combination of treatments: medication, psychoanalysis or psychotherapy
  • Schedule appointments in order to provide talk therapy
  • Explore a patient’s past in order to determine behavior patterns
  • Provide solutions and advice on how to change behavior patterns
  • Discuss diagnosis and improvements with a patient’s parents while still providing patient confidentiality

Child Psychiatrists have to be able to work well and have the stamina in order to work with children.

They can provide diagnoses ranging from depression, autism or Attention Deficit Disorder or a variety of other disorders.

Child Psychiatrist Salary and Career Path

Psychiatrists make some of the highest wages in the country.

The median salary for an experienced Psychiatrist is approximately $177,000 with some professionals earning upwards of $279,000 per year.

The job outlook for this profession looks strong with an expected growth of 14% until 2016.

Professionals entering the field can expect to start off making approximately $85,000 per year and earn more as they build their expertise and client portfolio.

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