When studying to be a psychiatrist, you can major in anything while in undergraduate college. However, as undergraduates, you will cover core courses for medical schools like chemistry, biology, and physics. These future psychiatrists then sit for a big exam that determines if they get into medical school or not.
Much book and lab work is done in the first two years, and the last two years are focused on clinical outcomes. Finally, after medical school, there is another major exam to get the MD degree.
This degree still doesn’t yet qualify one to practice psychiatry.
Successful students move into residency programs lasting four years. The first year is an internship year where the interns get to shadow the doctors in their center. During residency, they participate in outpatient and in-patient psychiatry, training in neurology and psychotherapy. At this level, psychiatrists can go into practice.
Some psychiatrists go into deeper specialization through fellowships to focus on children psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, or geriatric psychiatry. After training, these individuals can prescribe medicine and do psychotherapy. They can work in health, legal or educational systems. Overall, the path that psychiatrists have to take is a long one.