Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

The term psychology is really “in ” now a days. Almost everyone of us have some psychological issue at least once in life. So to have a solution for your issue, should you go to psychologist or psychiatrist. A large number of people don’t find any difference between two. After reading this article, you may be able to differentiate both.

Before going to the main topic, it’s essential to have a look on the foundation of both psychologist and psychiatrist i.e. psychology. The question is why we need psychology. The first reason that comes in most of the minds is to get a better understanding of your world and people around you. Psychology is a professional degree and people learn this subject to become a professional in this field.

People who study psychology may end up in several different fields. There are actually many branches of psychology but for now, we will discuss two main branches of psychology i.e. Psychologists and Psychiatrists. With a solid understanding of psychology, you can help people by learning about them, think of things from a new perspective, to make them understand how to improve certain aspects of life, or even allow them to make better decisions.
Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

A psychologist and a psychiatrist are often confused and taken as having the same meaning. The reason behind is that both study the brain, emotions, feelings and thoughts but there is a distinct difference between the two fields of study. The primary differences between the two fields is mainly the education requirements, the specific training. Difference between two can be explained in following different ways:

Difference in Scope

The scope of study of psychologist and psychiatrist is different.

Psychologists: The main focus of this branch is on the mind and behavior of a group but not on individuals. For example, consider an educational psychologist, who typically focus on learning and memory social psychologists focus on group behaviors; and occupational psychologists focus on work performance. As you can see, there are several different areas where studying psychology can be applied.

Psychiatrists: In contrast to psychologists, psychiatrists focuses on the mental or emotional disorders of an individual. This branch works on problems of individuals and come up with solutions that helps them to overcome the issues and become normal.

Difference in field of specialization

Both have different field of specialization.

Psychologist: A psychologist studies the human mind through a lot of different tools like lab tests, surveys and interviews. Information that psychologist collect in this way can be used in different ways like:
a) Psychologist used to counsel patients suffering from mental disorders, grief or trauma.
b) Others may apply their findings to explain and predict group behavior or help school children address behavioral issues.
c) Psychologists may also study methods for improving an organization’s work performance or personnel development.

Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor. Like any other specialist, they specialize in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of mental health problems. They prescribe medicines in order to help patients to manage disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or bipolar disordertry and geriatric psychiatry. In addition, addiction psychiatry is also available.

Differences in Training

Both get training but the nature and scope of training differ from each other.

Psychologist: Psychologists begin their career path with a Bachelor either in Science or Arts in Psychology. Industrial-organizational psychologists can enter the job field with a master’s degree. Psychologists need Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) to practice.

Psychiatrist: In contrast with Psychologist, the educational path for psychiatrists is more complex. Students must complete the Medical College Admission Test, after completing a bachelor’s degree, usually in one of the sciences. After qualifying the MCAD (Medical College Admission Test), students take part in 4-year medical school program to earn a Doctor of Medicine.

Difference in Required Credentials

Difference lies in the required credentials for both

Psychologist: Psychologists must obtain license from their state boards of psychology. Applicants with the appropriate master’s or doctoral degree along with 2 years of clinical experience may enroll for their state licensing exam.

Psychiatrist: Psychiatrists need a license as medical doctor in their state of residency. They also have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

How to Choose

When you are stressed out or suffering from any psychological issue like depression etc. You need to go to some Psychiatrist as they treat individual problems. Some people may use a combination of both at the same time. For instance, a patient may go to a psychiatrist for medication, but meet with a psychologist regularly to talk about their issues.

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