Psychiatrist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses, treats, and help prevents disorders of the mind.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Prescribes, directs, or administers psychotherapeutic treatments or medications to treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.
  • Gathers and maintains patient information and records, including social or medical history obtained from patients, relatives, or other professionals.
  • Designs individualized care plans, using a variety of treatments.
  • Collaborates with physicians, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, or other professionals to discuss treatment plans and progress.
  • Analyzes and evaluates patient data or test findings to diagnose nature or extent of mental disorder.
  • Examines or conducts laboratory or diagnostic tests on patients to provide information on general physical condition or mental disorder.
  • Counsels outpatients or other patients during office visits.
  • Advises or informs guardians, relatives, or significant others of patients' conditions or treatment.
  • Teaches, takes continuing education classes, attends conferences or seminars, or conducts research and publishes findings to increase understanding of mental, emotional, or behavioral states or disorders.
  • Reviews and evaluates treatment procedures and outcomes of other psychiatrists or medical professionals.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Addiction Psychiatrist -- Helps people to overcome a series of addictions like alcoholism, drugs, or gambling.
  • Forensic Psychiatrist -- Focuses on how mental health problems affect legal issues and often testify in court about the psychiatric condition of people who have committed crimes.
  • Clinical Psychiatrist --