Specialist spotlight, the qualified psychiatrist

SMP Healthcare

A psychiatrist is a medically qualified practitioner who may deal with any number of medical conditions affecting the mental health of their patients.

Psychiatrists will have spent 5-6 years training to become a doctor before working as a doctor in general medicine and surgery for at least one year. They will then have at least six years of additional training in helping people with psychological problems. Within this training period a psychiatrist will have learned how to:

  • assess a person’s state of mind
  • use the “biopsychosocial” model of understanding. This emphasises the importance of a person’s past experiences, family, culture, surroundings and work as well as any medical features.
  • diagnose a mental illness
  • use a range of psychological treatments
  • use a range of medications
  • help a person recover.

As well as these ‘core’ skills, a psychiatrist will specialise and develop skills in working with the particular problems that affect different groups of people.

How do you see I psychiatrist?

Under normal circumstances you will need your GP to refer you to see a psychiatrist and in many cases the first person you will see will be a nurse, social worker or an occupational therapist from the mental health team. These professionals would decide whether or not you need to see a psychiatrist. Some specialist teams and psychiatrist who work in the private sector may accept referrals directly from families, social workers or voluntary groups, also the patient themselves.

What might a psychiatrist want to talk to you about?

You will be asked about the problem that has made your visit to see the psychiatrist a necessity and they may also ask you about anything that has happened in your life, about your thoughts and your physical health. The psychiatrist will want to have a complete and thorough understanding about your personal situation.

The above information has been sourced from http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk

If you have been referred to see a psychiatrist and would like to find a qualified professional in your area the Medigest Business Directory could help you. https://www.medigest.uk/directory/