A day in the life of a psychiatrist
Psychiatrists are specialist medical doctors who are experts in mental health.
As a psychiatrist, you will be able to help people throughout their recovery so they can reach their goals.
You could be helping someone who is:
- struggling with alcohol and drug issues
- eating too much or not enough
- having thoughts of hurting themselves or others
- experiencing hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- dealing with trauma, violence, abuse or neglect
- having relationship or job issues, family breakdowns, gambling and money problems.
Psychiatry allows you to see each person as a whole, taking into consideration their physical, social and mental wellbeing.
You will be able to provide a broad range of treatments, including:
- general medical care, checking physical health and the effects of medication
- psychological treatments (psychotherapy or talking therapy)
- brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Care for vulnerable people
You'll listen to and provide expert care for vulnerable people, their families and whānau.
‘It’s really such a privilege the level of trust that people give you to tell you about the most personal parts of their lives. For them to trust you and being able to help them is a big thing.’
Alison, psychiatry trainee
Manage mental health conditions
You'll prevent, diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
‘Research helps us better understand what treatments work for which patients. The evidence base for medications and therapies in psychiatry continues to grow. This knowledge allows you to offer treatments that are most likely to lead to the best outcomes for patients’. Stephen, psychiatrist
Work in a team
You'll lead teams of other doctors and health professionals.
‘I try to be one of the leaders in my clinical team, made up of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers. I help the team to combine all of our strengths and skills, like an awesome clinical Voltron, to help the patients. We're a compassionate bunch and I love coming to work.’ Huan-Tzin, psychiatry trainee
Research and innovate
You'll conduct research to lead breakthroughs in psychiatry and mental health
‘We are in the cusp of something big that is going to evolve throughout the course of my career. It’s going to be very exciting to be sitting in the box seat as we get to unlock and better understand how the mind and brain works.’ Andrew, psychiatry registrar
Teach and supervise
You'll help foster new generations of psychiatrists.
'Supervision provides a safe space to reflect on the interesting and complex work of psychiatry.' Stephen, psychiatrist
Lead and advocate
You'll be able to provide expert opinion to the community, government and courts.
Ever wondered what it's like to be a psychiatrist? Learn about different careers within psychiatry through these articles exploring a typical day in the life.