Do You Need To Be Good At Science To Be A Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. This statement alone should give you an idea of how much science is needed if you want to become a psychiatrist. Indeed, the road you take before you can become a full-fledged psychiatrist is going to be intensely scientific. The logic behind this is pretty obvious: Medical professionals deal with the human body and as such they need to have a solid foundation about biology, human anatomy, chemistry, physiology and psychology. Psychiatrists happen to deal with one of the most complex areas of the human body—the mind—and this requires a deep comprehension of the brain’s complex workings.

If you’re intent in a career as a psychiatrist, your preparation should start as early as high school. Courses like biology and chemistry are particularly important because these are going to give you the fundamental understanding you need on such concepts as the structure and function of the human body and the chemical and biochemical processes that occur within it.

Another reason why you need to be good at science to become a psychiatrist is that you will be taking many of them during college or in your pre-med courses to prepare you to get high scores in the Medical College Admissions Test or MCAT which is a requirement to enter medical school. Classes in organic chemistry, general chemistry, biochemistry, general biology, human physiology, genetics, general psychology and child psychology, among others, are going to comprise your premed preparation. Thus, you need to be genuinely interested in these subjects so that you will look forward to opening your voluminous books each day—and you are going to be doing even more of that in medical school.

It certainly helps if you have that ability to easily understand scientific concepts and can connect various lessons. You will be able to go through medical school with far less stress than if you had to force yourself to do so. Majoring in psychiatry is no easy task and you are going to be bombarded with science at every turn. From studying about the theories of the mind to prescribing psychological treatments to neuroscience to somatic treatments to psychopharmacology, everything about your studies will touch on science.

Another reason why you need to be good at science to become a psychiatrist is that the profession itself requires you to have this kind of knowledge to be effective. When seeing clients, you will be listening to them and closely observing their behavior to ascertain what their problem is and determine the best method of treatment that will produce the desired results. This already entails putting the scientific method in actual practice. Moreover, you will also use your knowledge about medicines, their respective drug actions and side effects before you will prescribe them to your patients.

Treating patients with mental health disorders is no easy task partly because there is still so much to be explored about the human mind even if a lot has already been uncovered about it. Science and psychiatry are so intertwined that if you want to become an effective psychiatrist, you will need to be very good at science.

Career Spotlight: Psychologist

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