A psychiatrist has the ability to work with a variety of mental health patients. To become a psychiatrist you need to attend undergraduate school and obtain a bachelor's degree, then attend medical school to earn your medical degree and complete your residency training in psychiatry. Psychologists are required to become licensed in their state of practice before working with patients.
- Earn your bachelor's degree
Choose an undergraduate college to complete your bachelor's degree. Your major can be anything of interest, but you must complete the prerequisites for admission to medical school. Each medical school has different requirements; be sure to know those of your medical school of choice. During your junior year, the Medical College Admission Test must be taken for medical school acceptance.
- Attend medical school
Aspiring psychiatrists complete the same coursework as do students pursuing other medical fields of study. The four years of medical school involves classroom work, laboratory work and clinical rotations. Apply for a psychiatric residency program during your final year of medical school.
- Complete your residency
A psychiatric residency program typically consists of four years following the completion of medical school. During the residency program, you are able to focus on specific psychiatric studies and clinical training.
- Become licensed
Take your state's board exam to become licensed in your state of practice. Be aware of your state's requirements, as they differ from state to state.
- Get board certified
It's not required that you become board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, but it's certainly recommend.