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Questions about Psychiatry. Lifestyle, stress, pay, competitveness.

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by license43, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. license43

    2+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    #1 license43, Dec 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  3. MiddleRoad

    5+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Many past threads should answer all of your questions, but here are my quick takes.

    How hard? Depends on you more than the specialty of Psychiatry. Some people might find it hard to be responsible for rapidly repairing organs and bones after a physical trauma, others have great difficulty sitting with people in emotional distress and talking about the experience of psychological trauma. The question is what are you more comfortable doing on a day to day basis? For me the ability to get to know my patients, provide ongoing support, build trust, watch people get better with treatment, and marvel at the endlessly interesting variety of human personality and experience are what keep me highly satisfied as a psychiatrist.

    Difficulty for DO students to get in? Not an expert on this, but I can say it's more difficult at most competitive MD programs--where you would need good grades and boards scores to even be considered at these residencies. Not as competitive if you apply very widely and include DO programs.

    Salary? Yes, you can definitely make more than 300K in the Northeast, working 40+ hours per week. This is especially true if you work in more rural, underserved areas. It would be much more difficult to make this salary if you work in an academic center.
  4. Few thoughts:
    -Psychiatry is the hidden gem of medicine
    -Breadth of subspecialties (C&L, Child, Addiction, Forensics, Geriatrics, Sleep, Psychosomatic, Pain, Neuropsych)
    -Opportunity to work anywhere you want
    -Opportunity to make a lot of money (if that's your thing)
    -Endless academic and teaching opportunities
    -Large % of psychiatrists don't accept insurance
    -Among the highest career satisfaction in all the land
    -Cutting edge innovation and 'procedures' right now (ECT, VNS, Withdrawal stimulators & implants
    -Stigma eroding due to political emphasis on mental health
    -House staff have what seems like excellent appreciation for psych :)

    Also, the 'DO' Psych residencies are mostly pitiful -- don't apply to them. Your training will lack in comparison to established ACGME programs. 4th year DO here currently on the interview trail. Is it harder? Yes. I am the token DO at many of my interviews. Is it possible? Yes. Psych is still not Ortho.

    Within 5-10 years psych will be the new derm. You heard it here first
    OldPsychDoc and Seroquel like this.
  5. QueenJames

    5+ Year Member

    May 16, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student

    I know many folks who were hardcore full-fledged psych in the class years ahead of me but were turned off to it after they rotated in it.

    These are all valid questions, but lifestyle won't mean much if you don't actually immerse yourself in the day-to-day.

    I would say worry about boards... then rotate... and then decide.

    good luck!

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