Hello everyone! Here's a small intro about my situation: I've always wanted to be a lawyer until I actually took the time to research about the profession and my reality was twisted, especially how graduates have a terrible time finding jobs, if at all. After many many MANY suggestions of becoming either a psychologist or psychiatrist (I am aware of the differences) I actually took the time to learn about both professions. I've ALWAYS been interested in biology, neurology, psychology etc. I have always said to myself that if for whatever reason I don't become a lawyer I'd become a psych because I love to help people and I can handle such heart-wreacking stories without getting attached to the person (I'm everyone's journal who replies back.) But anyway, as someone who MAY be cemented into the Psychiatry, I have many questions and concerns. First off, let me say that money is NOT of a big importance to me. It's more-so schedule flexibility. I'll be more than content with just 70k a year. I have a legitimate interest in helping people as well as understanding the huge responsibility of being there for the clients and taking personal time off for them. I am not at all impressed by doctors who are drug-pusher happy and/or just in it for the money. Now, since that's out of the way... 1. How is the schedule flexibility for beginning Psychiatrists after residency? I'm not quite sure what KIND of psychiatrist I'd be, but I'm leaning towards child & adolscence. I have absolutely no problem working 50 maybe even 60 hours a week. However, anything over 60 (NOT including emergencies, just normal work times) may be a repellent. I've been told that Psychiatrists can work 3 days a week, so the flexibility is phoenominal. However, I'd prefer a 4-5 day of work from times like 8:30am - 4pm if that's realistic? 2. How hard is it really to keep up with new technology and medications? I understand and accept that Psychiatrists and other M.Ds have the responsibility to do thorough research and self-education about new technology/medication that came out. I personally love to research and basically that's all I do. It's a hobby. But, is it truely hard and overwhelming? 3. What would be a psychiatrist's salary and hours if USA has a free health care? Can psychiatrists make six-figure? Now, the salary itself isn't a huge concern of mine. I'd be pretty upset however if I make under 70k a year with barbaric hours(soley because of all the schooling I'd have to go through). I'm assuming if USA had a healthcare similar to Canada's. My Canadian friend says that doctors make 55k a year and have very long, exhausting and non-flexible hours. Flexibility is a huge thing for me, being normal work times since I'd have no problem opening up lets say a weekend for some of my clients. As for six-figure, could a good psychitraist have such income before and after free health care? 4. Do psychiatrists take weekends/holidays off? Again, NOT including emergencies. Also, an answer for both a hosiptal environment AND a private clinic environment. I heard hospital psychiatrists have rougher hours? 5. Could a psychitraist do psychotherapy? If for whatever reason a psychitraist wanted to become a psychologist later in their years, could they switch? Now, I ask this question because I saw, from someone on this forum I believe that Psychiatrists are "Psychologists with everything, but more." is this true? And finally... 6. Do newly-minted Psychiatrists have trouble finding jobs? My family always say that "Everyone needs doctors, but not everyone needs a lawyer." since the law field is completely over-saturated in America, but I'd figure doctors would be as well. ---- I'd like to thank EVERYONE in advance and apologise for such a long post xD I'd like to know for sure what I'm getting into before I cement this. Feel free to ask any questions, as well! And for those who ask, yes. I do have a slight fear of free health care in the USA if modeled after Canada's health care. Why? It's not because of the money, it's mostly because I can't work in a private clinic environment and lose my flexibility. ANY ressaurances (even though it's anyone's call) would be lovely. I DO love helping people, and I help them all the time and even go out of my way for my friends and such (different, I know. Must not be personal with clients!) and very interested in the human mind so I'm sure the work wouldn't be too much of a bore. Again, thanks!