A psychiatrist’s workday may involve treating patients in a variety of settings, with a wide range of patient populations. In addition to a variety of clinical settings, psychiatrists often work multiple jobs at once, allowing them to tailor their schedules to the needs of their patients. In contrast, other specialties require physicians to take on only one job at a time. In addition, psychiatrists often enjoy a high quality of life, including the flexibility of normal business hours and weekend calls.
Psychologists can work for public or private practices, but private practice may be isolating. Some stigma may exist about psychiatry, mainly due to the influence of Scientology and conspiracy theorists. The history of psychiatry also contains stories about horrific and often cruel treatments, such as lobotomy and shock therapy. However, these methods have evolved. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is conducted under anesthesia, and patients are unaware that they are having a seizure. The most common side effect of electroconvulsive therapy is a headache.
Community psychiatry involves working with the underserved and severely mentally ill. In this field, dual diagnosis is common, as patients often have both a mental and a substance use disorder. In addition, dual diagnosis is extremely frustrating, with adherence to medications and appointments often problematic. A psychiatrist’s lifestyle consists of helping others cope with life’s stresses. They help people cope with the emotional and psychological problems they face.