Psychiatrists are physicians specializing in the treatment of mental disorders. It’s a huge field. Have you seen how big the DSM-IV book is? Can you believe there is finally a DSM-V on the way? (17 years after the first DSM-IV edition came out) They’re huge!
But I digress.
Although psychiatrists are not among the highest-earning specialists, from what I hear, it’s one of the most rewarding fields.
Just how much do psychiatrists make?
The median expected salary is $192,768 with the majority making between $172k and $211k. Surprisingly, 15% of the psychiatrists that reported their salary on Medscape said they make less than $100,000 annually. But I wonder if those physicians were just part-timers.
In fact, the whole Medscape psychiatrist salary graph is more prominent on the left side (less money) than it is on the right.
But let’s not forget that there are some psychiatrists who make more than $300,000. Remember my post about Dr. William Wood?
How can you beef up your salary? By covering calls at the psychiatry hospital, being an expert witness, and doing depositions (legal mumbo jumbo).
[ update Nov 6, 2011 ]
A psychiatry resident on the SDN forums shared their experience about psychiatry salaries. Listen up because it’s great info of what’s possible out there. It goes to show that you should always check your local hospitals for current market trends to get an idea of the salary ranges for your particular geographical area.
The average starting salary in academics is about $145,000. This is usually for a pretty relaxing gig supervising residents and having “administrative time”.
State gigs in Texas average about $185,000 with no call, no holidays, and vacation time.
The average starting salary in private practice is about $215,000 (your 75%ile). Many of our residents start higher than this while only working 45 hours/week with little call.
If you are willing to take call, work longer than 45 hours/week, run a clinic, have PA’s, be fellowship trained, or any number of other opportunities, you can blow well past $350k/year.
Adult Psychiatry is generally a 4 year endeavor. It’s one of the few specialties that do not require a preliminary year of internal medicine at a different residency program. Meaning, most psychiatry residency programs integrate adult medicine into their 1st year of training. The last 3 years are specialized in psychiatry.
You can also do a residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry but you are required to do an internship year plus 2 years of general psychiatry first.
There are also a few fellowships you can do :
- addiction psychiatry
- geriatric psychiatry
- psychosomatic medicine
Psychiatry is about listening to patients and helping them live their life with a mental disorder via medications and psychotherapy. A Beautiful Mind, Fight Club, Shutter Island, Rain Man. All excellent movies right? Well, they’re all about psychiatry.
It’s a very interesting field and very people oriented. You need excellent listening skills and a big heart. Got what it takes?