More about psychiatry
Q: I am interested in a career in
If you're a school leaver, you can find information about the
psychiatric profession and how to become a psychiatrist by
following this link:
Careers Information For School Leavers - you can also take our
quiz to see whether you'd make a good psychiatrist.
If you're a medical student who is interested in specialisingin
psychiatry, you can find information about further training,
day-to-day work and the areas of specialisationby following this
Careers Information for Undergraduates
Q: What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a
Psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists are all
professionally-trained people who help individuals that suffer from
psychological problems. The main difference between them is that
psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors. Psychologists are
not medically-trained professionals, and they are primarily
concerned with the study of how people think, act, react and
interact. For further information about psychology, visit the
British Psychological Society
Q: What are the main psychiatric
There are six main specialties within psychiatry:
- general adult
- old age
- child and adolescent
- forensic psychiatry
- learning disability.
For more information about each of these please follow this
link: Psychiatric Specialties.
The College also has its own areas of specialty within psychiatry.
These are known as Faculties; please follow this link for more
information about them: College
Q: Where do psychiatrists work?
The majority of psychiatrists work within the National Health
Service (NHS), whilst some work privately. Psychiatrists also work
as part of community mental health teams (CMHTs) – see our page on
'The Mental Health Team' for more
Q: What makes a fully-qualified
A qualified psychiatrist will have a medical
degree, they will also have completed two years of foundation
training and a further six years of specialty training within
To become a consultant psychiatrist, they
would also need to obtain a CCT (Certificate of Completion of
Training), be fully registered with the GMC (General Medical
Council), and be included on their specialist register.
Q: What does the Royal College of Psychiatrists
The College is the professional and educational body for
psychiatrists throughout the UK and Ireland. It organises the
qualifying examination for psychiatrists, called the MRCPsych, and
coordinates continuing professional development programmes to help
qualified psychiatrists develop and update their skills.
The College also promotes excellence in mental health care, and
aims to improve understanding about mental health problems. It is
involved in an extensive range of public education initiatives
designed to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental
For further information about the rich history of the College
and its work, visit the College
Archives web page.
Q: What does it mean by being a Member or
Fellow of the College?
Members of the College are awarded different grades of
membership depending on various factors, including:
- the contribution they have made to the field of psychiatry
- their degree of experience as a professional psychiatrist
- the amount of time they have been a member.
Visit the About
College Membership page of our website to find about more about
the various types of membership.