The Difference Between A General Psychiatrist And A Psychologist?

When people want to seek help for stress or other psychological issues, there can be some confusion between a general psychiatrist and a psychologist. Both professions deal with the mind and overcoming psychological problems, but are the two professions the same or are they somehow different?

That’s what we’re going to be taking a closer look at in this article, so we can discover the similarities and the key differences between the two professions.

What Is a General Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist first goes through medical training, as part of this profession relies on liaising with doctors and other medical professionals regarding the mental health and needs of their patients. In order to become a qualified psychiatrist, extra training is required before an individual can practice in the psychiatry profession.

One of the major differences between psychiatrists and psychologists is this formal medical training. Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors. Not only does this medical training equip a psychiatrist with more skills, but the training also enables them to prescribe medications to their patients.

The field of psychiatry often deals with patients suffering from more severe mental health issues. One such mental health condition could be a patient suffering from schizophrenia.

You will often find psychiatrists working in hospitals, community health centres and clinics, as well as private practices. A psychiatrist is a highly-qualified individual who is well-equipped to deal with all sorts of mental health conditions, along with psychological problems in patients and clients.

Many psychiatrists are also registered with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). Practising and qualified psychiatrists need also to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Just some of the conditions a psychiatrists will deal with include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • Anxiety issues such as panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Bipolar
  • Eating disorders
  • And more…

What Is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is also a highly-trained and qualified individual and will deal with some similar problems to what a psychiatrist encounters. The main difference is that a psychologist is not a trained medical doctor (as mentioned earlier) and therefore, cannot prescribe medication to their clients. A psychologist also cannot admit a patient to a hospital. However, all Australian practising psychologists must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), along with being listed with AHPRA.

In order to become a registered psychologist, 6 years of university training and supervised experience is required. Psychologists must also be willing to continue ongoing training to ensure their knowledge and skills are kept up to date.

While psychiatrists might have more formal training, both psychiatry and psychology cover some of the same ground. In both professions, understanding the human brain and how it works is essential. This encompasses how people think and behave, respond and react on a mental and emotional level.

The list above under psychiatry mentioned a number of conditions that psychiatrists deal with on a regular basis. Psychologists often deal with the same issues, but on a lesser scale. Psychologists often act as counsellors, helping people to understand their mental and emotional problems and sorting out their thinking. It’s often all about learning how to develop better ways of thinking, which leads to improved behaviour and emotional responses.

General Practitioner Jobs In Australia

If you’ve recently become a qualified GP and you are looking for permanent general practitioner jobs, the best thing you can do to shortcut the process to gainful employment is to link up with a recruitment agency. Not just a general recruitment agency, but one that specialises in finding jobs for medical professionals.

If you’re a practising psychiatrist or psychologist, a specialist and dedicated medical recruitment firm will also assist you every step of the way in finding the position you want in your desired location.

While there is no harm in searching for vacant positions on online job boards or even specialist job websites, teaming up with a recruitment agency will be likely to land you a job sooner and with less competition.

In Conclusion

While psychiatry and psychology certainly share some similarities, the professions are also different. You can become a practising psychologist within 6 years, but it generally takes a total of around 11 years of study and training to become a fully-qualified and practising psychiatrist.