Difference Between Psychologist And a Psychiatrist:

Psychologist and psychiatrist are two different occupations but still they are often confused and often interchangeably used. So now question arises that what is difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? Both the professions are concerned with the study of brain, emotions, behaviors and thoughts resulting from them. But there lies a striking difference between the two.

The primary difference between the two fields lies in the academic requirements, professional training, practice and salary.

Who is a psychologist

A psychologist practices psychotherapy. He provides behavioral support.

Academic Requirements for a Psychologist

If you want to pursue your career as a psychologist, you would go for an undergraduate course in science or arts with psychology as a major subject. After earning a bachelors’ degree, you need to enroll in a graduate program to earn a masters’ degree and probably a doctorate degree in psychology.

Professional Training for a Psychologist

A psychologist is required to either have a one or two year internship or have a two year supervised practice. It is mandatory in most states in the US. Only then the state will consider you eligible for issuing a license.

Specialization Programs for Psychologists

If you want to be a psychologist, you may select a particular field of psychology during your undergraduate or graduate program. But you may need to go for additional state exams for a licensed practice of the specialized field.

A Psychologist in Practice

If you are a psychologist, you’ll be concerned with your patients’ emotions, thoughts and feelings. You’ll counsel them to face the situation and bear the mental and emotional dilemma. You’ll consider the situation they are in.

Who is a psychiatrist

A psychiatrist provides clinical support.

Academic Requirements for a Psychiatrist

If you wish to be a psychiatrist, you need to attend medical school. For having a degree as a psychiatrist, you first need to earn an undergraduate degree in science. Then you have to enrol in a medical school for pursuing a graduate degree as a psychiatrist.

Professional Training for a Psychiatrist

After earning a graduate degree from medical school, you need to complete four years of residency. This is the training time as a psychiatrist. You will complete this training in the psychiatric unit of a hospital.

To be a licensed medical doctor, you have to pass the state exam following the residency and internship period. You may also need to clear an additional exam to have a license as a psychiatrist.

Specialization Programs for Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist can undergo specialization programs in one of the many divisions of psychiatry. You may specialize in general psychiatry, child psychiatry, forensic psychiatry or any other option from this vast field.

A Psychiatrist in Practice

As a psychiatrist, you are concerned with the scientific and medical reason behind the mental and emotional state of your patient. You’ll look for mental disorders such as chemical imbalance and write prescriptions accordingly.

Psychologist and Psychiatrist as a Team

Psychologists and psychiatrist often work as a team. Since both are concerned with the mental health of their patients, they work together for their well being.

It is often seen in practice that a psychologist recommends one of his patients to a fellow psychiatrist. Though he cannot write prescriptions but he knows when the patient needs one. Likewise, a psychiatrist recommends a patient to a psychologist for mental therapy.

In many cases, the psychologist and psychiatrist undergo a patient’s treatment together.

Differences aside, both strive to help people feel better and live a happier life.