What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in mental health. Just like a cardiologist is the medical specialist for the heart and a nephrologist is for the kidneys, a psychiatrist is a doctor that specialise in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness.
Psychiatrists undergo medical training and examinations. After acquiring basic medical degree MBBS, they do hospital based rotations to enhance their clinical skills. Subsequently they apply for training positions to the specialist college. For psychiatrists, the college that oversees their training is called RANZCP (Royal Australian and new Zealand college of psychiatrists). After completing 5 years of psychiatric training and successfully passing the examinations, psychiatrists are admitted as the fellows of the college (FRANZCP). A psych doctor in Australia should have a FRANZCP degree; psychiatrists may also have other specialist degrees such as MD in psychiatry. Hence if you are looking for a Dr psychiatrist, look for FRANZCP in their bio. Psychologists with doctoral degrees may have the title Dr. but this shouldn’t be confused with a medical degree or their inclusion as psychiatrists.
To summarise, both psychiatrists and psychologist’s treat mental illness and some of the psychologists use the title Dr as they have a doctoral degree. Psychologists are not medically trained and are not allowed to prescribe medications. Clinical psychologists are qualified to make mental health diagnosis. If you are looking for a medically trained Dr psychiatrist or psychiatrist MD or Psychiatrist FRANZCP, look up their bio for MD and FRANZCP degrees. A psychiatrist requires FRANZCP (Fellow of Australian and New Zealand College of psychiatrists) to register as a specialist medical practitioner in Australia.
Psychiatrists (psych doctor) in Melbourne specialise in a wide range of mental illnesses. Some psychiatrists have a narrow focus on few disorders whereas others have a wide range of interests. Common conditions treated by psych doctors are schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and addiction.
How can a psychiatric doctor (psychiatrist MD) assist you?
A psychiatric doctor by virtue of their training is considered an expert in making complex mental health diagnosis. This may range from anxiety to neuro-psychiatric disorders.
For instance, a forensic mental health practitioner might be the most appropriate person to look into the link between crime and mental illness. Whereas, a neuro-psychiatrist might be able to accurately diagnose a mental illness secondary to an organic condition or brain disease.A child psychiatrist might be the one to seek help from when your child is showing behavioral symptoms that is not responding to psychological treatment. An old age psychiatrist specializes in the diagnosis of dementia and other age related mental illnesses.
Finally, an adult psychiatrist will help diagnose adult mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Why would psychiatrists need a medical degree?
Psychiatrists are doctors who are experts in treating mental illness using medications. Hence knowledge of the brain architecture and neurochemical systems is a pre-requisite for such a role. Moreover, by understanding of the mind body connection, allows a psych doctor to accurately gauge the influence of mental illness on your body or vice versa. The knowledge of the psychiatric medications on other body organ systems is required to avoid drug interactions; But more importantly, this might also provide you with holistic healing outcomes as the focus is not just limited to your mind but it also takes into account its interaction it has with your body as well. Moreover, one needs to be fully aware of detecting and avoiding drug interactions with other medications. Hence, a psychiatric doctor is fully qualified to assist you in your journey from diagnosis till your recovery.
If psychiatrists are doctors, are they qualified to provide psychotherapy?
Psychiatrist has a medical degree such as MD or FRANZCP and are medical practitioners but as part of their psychiatric training, they are trained in psychotherapy and behavioral management. This includes knowledge of the psychological theories and practical knowledge of therapy. In fact, the therapeutic skills are separately assessed via mandatory case submissions. Some psychiatrists have advanced degree in psychotherapy and practice psychotherapy part-time or work exclusively as psychotherapists. Psychiatrists who provide psychotherapy also undergo peer supervision just like their psychology counterparts.
To conclude, psychiatrist (psych doctor) and psychiatric doctors or otherwise called mental health medical specialists who have experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They are recognized by their degrees such as psychiatrist MD or psychiatrist FRANZP. Their focus is not limited to medical healing of mental illness but a holistic treatment of mental illness that takes into account mind-body interactions. A Dr Psychiatrist (doctor psychiatrist) often provides a combination of medical and psychological treatment and helps you navigate the mental health systems.
At Mindoc psychiatric clinic (mental health Clinic) in Melbourne, we have experienced psychiatrists with FRANZCP who are happy to assist with your mental health journey. You can call us to known more or book online to see one of our private psychiatrists in Melbourne