Psychiatry Essay

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Psychiatry is the medical specialty that concerns itself with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of psychological disorders. A psychiatrist is, first and foremost, a physician, complete with M.D. degree. In addition to the usual medical training, however, a psychiatrist receives additional special training and clinical experience in the psychiatric specialty. In the public mind, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists often appear to be the same thing, but there are crucial differences in their areas of expertise and practice. A clinical psychologist relies on various psychotherapeutic techniques to treat a client, whereas a psychiatrist, adopting a medical model of mental illness instead, is far more likely to suggest and implement a pharmaceutical treatment approach. As a medical doctor, a psychiatrist can prescribe appropriate medication to deal with a disorder, while a psychologist lacks either the expertise or the legal right to do so (see also Psychology, Research Methods in).


  1. Storey, P. Psychological Medicine: An Introduction to Psychiatry. 10th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1986.

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