A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry and is certified in treating mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychotherapy. And, as part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may prescribe psychiatric medication, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and electroencephalograms, and may order brain imaging studies such as computed tomography or computed axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography scanning.
Psychiatry in the professional world
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MBBS, MD, DO, etc) who specialize in treating mental illness using the biomedical approach to mental disorders, including psychotherapies. Unlike other mental health professionals, psychiatrists have also completed medical school, and have medical and medication training.
Some psychiatric practitioners specialize in helping certain age groups. Child and adolescent psychiatrists work with children and teenagers in addressing psychological problems. Those who work with the elderly are called geriatric psychiatrists or geropsychiatrists. Those who practice psychiatry in the workplace are called organizational and occupational psychiatrists in the US (occupational psychology is the name used for the most similar discipline in the UK). Psychiatrists working in the courtroom and reporting to the judge and jury, in both criminal and civil court cases, are called forensic psychiatrists, who also treat mentally disordered offenders and other patients whose condition is such that they have to be treated in secure units.
Other psychiatrists and mental health professionals in the field of psychiatry may also specialize in psychopharmacology, psychiatric genetics, neuroimaging, sleep medicine, pain medicine, palliative medicine, eating disorders, sexual disorders, women's health, early psychosis intervention, mood disorders and anxiety disorders (including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder).
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