Psychiatry offers many career options and opportunities. Psychiatrists can join government hospitals, departments or private clinics and nursing homes. They can also do private practice and opt for teaching.

Careers in Psychiatry

Psychiatry as a special field of health care deals with the mental, emotional and behavioral disorders in a person. It explores the labyrinth of the human mind through the help of evidences and subtle techniques. A psychiatrist can differentiate between a mentally healthy person and a mentally sick one. Often, mental and psychosomatic problems arise in patients with various surgical, medical and gynecological cases. He should peep into the psyche of patients and understand the cause of the deep rooted agonies, anxiety and depression and schizophrenia. Treatments are made on the basis of counseling and then on the basis of medicines.

Course Details
A candidate has to acquire an M.B.B.S degree from a medical college and appear for a post- graduate examination to study psychiatry as a subject of specialization. There are two options - they may either do a postgraduate course (MD) in psychiatry or a diploma in psychiatry (DPM). The MD course is of three years' duration while the diploma course is of two years. Besides, one can also join the DNB course organized by the National Board of Examinations which is equivalent to an MD. The course also includes practical training at mental hospitals.

Career Prospects
Job opportunities for psychiatrists in India are immense. Psychiatrists can seek employment in regular hospitals as well as in mental hospitals. Many of them also work in rehabilitation centers to rehabilitate drug addicts, dipsomaniacs, juvenile delinquents and others with other occupational therapists and social workers. They are appointed in private hospitals, clinics and health institutes. Many polyclinics also recruit psychiatrists to counsel patients to attend to various psychological problems. They can also start private practice at home or by opening their own clinics. They can also work as a counselor in schools, colleges, hospitals, courts, prison and even for NGOs and large scale industries. Others also have the option of choosing teaching this subject as a career.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Several institutes/collages/universities offer MD/DPM courses in Psychiatry. Some prominent among them are as follows. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi; Lady Hardinge Medical College New Delhi; National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore; All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai; Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, New Delhi and National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi.

Psychiatry is a remunerative career option. The pay-package varies from one organization to the other. In government hospitals Psychiatrists are offered the same salary as offered to other specialist doctors. The salary ranges between Rs.15, 000 –Rs.20, 000 per month. In private hospitals the pay-package is slightly higher than that of government one. Private practice through self employment can provide the best earnings sources to psychiatrist. Private practitioners on one sitting may charge Rs 300 or more per hour for counseling.

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