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Let's Talk About: Psychiatrists

Raise your hand if you really aren't sure what a psychiatrist is? Or maybe don't know the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? You've come to the right place to find out!

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry (really helpful, I know). A psychiatrist attends four years of undergraduate college/university, then attends four years of medical school. At the end of medical school, they pursue training in psychiatry (a residency). Some (like Dr. Shaban), further specialize in Child/Adolescent, Addiction, Forensic, or Consultative Psychiatry. Training is an additional four years for general psychiatry, and another year for a specialty.

Psychiatry is the medical field devoted to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health issues. A psychiatrist learns how the body and brain are intertwined, and how to treat common ailments such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and psychotic disorders. A psychiatrist is able to prescribe medication, and has an understanding of how to manage the medical complexities that arise within patients who have mental illness. Some psychiatrists provide weekly, hour long therapy sessions, while others focus on medications.

A psychologist is someone with a post graduate doctorate, usually a PhD or PsyD. They often lead therapy and research studies. Although some psychologists do have the ability to prescribe medicine, they do not attend medical school.

Some therapists have masters degrees in counseling, therapy, or social work. They do not have the ability to prescribe medication

Other prescribers include nurse practioners and physician assistants. Both of these specialties have different training requirements than a psychiatrist, and do not attend medical school.

Why see a psychiatrist? Psychiatrists have spent years of their lives learning about medicine, the brain, the body, and how our life experiences create our current symptoms. A psychiatrist is an expert on understanding mental health, wellness, and how that interconnects with the body. They also are able to prescribe medications, understand how these medications can interact with other health conditions, and help you reach your health goals.

Interested in seeing a psychiatrist? Dr. Shaban is taking new patients!

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