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What Are the Different Types of Psychiatrist Opportunities?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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Many different jobs are available for medical doctors (MDs) who have specialized in psychiatry. Psychiatrist opportunities can be found in hospitals, universities, and government organizations, or a psychiatrist may create his or her own job by opening a private practice. Specializing in different aspects of psychiatry will influence the type of work a psychiatrist is qualified for and the opportunities available. Some of the most common psychiatrist opportunities are found in patient care, though jobs in research and education are also common.

Most psychiatrist opportunities are found in healthcare facilities or private practice offices that specialize in the psychiatric care of patients. In these settings, psychiatrists may work with adults or children to identify and treat psychological disorders through the use of therapy or medication. Job opportunities for psychiatrists may be available in hospitals that have psychiatric units, and any psychiatrist can open up a private practice to provide care to patients.

A specialization in a certain field of psychiatry will also open up psychiatrist opportunities in that field. The most basic specializations are those of pediatric or adult psychiatric care, though there are specialties in geriatric care, forensics, or learning difficulties as well. Psychiatrists who specialize in learning difficulties may work one on one with patients or they may work with schools or educational institutions to help implement programs to help students learn. Those in forensics may be called upon to provide expert testimony in trials, especially if a defendant has pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

There are also psychiatrist opportunities for professionals who wish to work entirely in research. These psychiatrists may design and oversee studies, collect research, and write papers based on their findings. Research psychiatrists may work with either animal or human subjects, with animals being used to test new medications or to stand in for human subjects in experiments that could be harmful. Many of these psychiatrists are employed by universities and private research facilities.

Other psychiatrist opportunities can be found in educational settings. Qualified psychiatrists are needed to train university students and psychiatrists who are still in residency programs. Some government agencies may also make use of psychiatrists, especially those with a great deal of experience, in order to recommend public health policies. State and federal mental health facilities and programs also employ staff psychiatrists. In large psychiatric facilities, experienced psychiatrists may also manage other doctors and oversee operations.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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