November 20, 2014
 
   
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What do psychiatrists do?

The CPA defines psychiatrists as physicians who "enhance the person's quality of life by providing psychiatric assessment, treatment and rehabilitation care to people with psychiatric disorders in order to prevent, reduce and eliminate the symptoms and subsequent disabilities resulting from mental illness or disorder". The UK College of Psychiatrists states, "Psychiatrists are informed and uniquely skilled in the integration of medicine, psychiatry, neuroscience and the psychosocial sciences".

The psychiatrist is trained primarily as a clinician to diagnose, treat and provide ongoing care for mental disorders to patients of all ages. Psychiatrists are primary, secondary and tertiary care physicians. Psychiatrists not only provide direct care to patients but often act as consultants to other health professionals such as family doctors.

Psychiatrists work in a range of settings including psychiatric or general hospitals, private offices, research units, community health centres, social agencies or in government.

Psychiatrists use a mix of treatment options, including medications and psychotherapy, depending on the psychiatric conditions. Often part of the treatment or rehabilitation plan will include referral to or collaboration with a range of social and support services.

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