Roles and responsibilities
As a psychiatrist you will be medically qualified to assess the' mental and physical status of patients to determine the nature and extent of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.
As part of this you will:
- assess patients' medical, psychiatric and psychological histories
- examine patients to determine general physical condition
- order laboratory tests, imaging, neuro-psychological tests and other diagnostic procedures
- examine the results of tests and examinations to determine the most appropriate forms of treatment
- prescribe and administer medication, psychotherapy and other physical treatments and rehabilitation programs
- arrange admission to hospitals and provide in-patient treatment
- consult, supervise and work with other medical practitioners and health professionals
- determine whether patients require involuntary treatment in accordance with relevant mental health acts
- assist courts and other statutory bodies in managing patients in legal and forensic settings
- teach medical students and registrars, and assess their progress by administering tests.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
After completion of the Doctor of Medicine and after working in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency), doctors interested in becoming a psychiatrist can apply to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists to undertake further training and ultimately receive Fellowship which normally takes at least five years of study while working as a doctor.