The Best Medical Schools To Pursue Psychiatry

August 12, 2012 0 Comments

By George Kleban

According to the American Psychiatric Affiliation (APA), posted in U.S. Information & World Report in March 2012, there is a great demand for psychiatrists as the 50,000 current practitioners in the United States are too few to serve patients, particularly in rural and hard to reach areas. Education-Portal.com also reported that the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions noted that the insufficient number of 7,000 child psychiatrists practicing in 2009 was unevenly distributed across the country, leaving many rural areas underserved and that 12,623 psychiatrists, instead of the expected 8,312, would be needed by 2020. With healthcare industries expected to expand back in 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected, then, better than average growth for physicians and surgeons over ten years from 2008-2018.

Demands for psychiatrists are still high today and the CEO and Medical Director of the APA, Dr. James Scully Jr., also added that, “This is a very exciting time for psychiatry, when we have more scientific developments in the field than ever before”. In addition to demand, CNN also featured psychiatrists as one of 20 highest-paying jobs in 2011, with the median pay for an established psychiatrist at $185,000 a year and the top pay reaching to $269,000 annually.

With the promise of a lucrative and in-demand career, pursuing psychiatry is definitely rewarding. There are many institutions offering programs in psychiatry but it is certainly better to enrol in universities well-known for their psychiatry programs. Here are the best schools for Psychiatry:

1. John Hopkins in Baltimore, MD
2. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
3. University of Pennsylvania
4. Yale
5. Boston university
6. Duke university
7. Stanford university
8. University of California in Los Angeles
9. The University of Virginia
10. The University of Washington – Seattle

Education-Portal.com listed Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD as the best Psychiatry School in the country. With the first Psychiatric training facility in the United States opened in this university in the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic back in 1908, they have become known as the pioneer in psychiatric research. The university was awarded the 2011 ‘Best Northeastern College’ and 2011 ‘Best Value Private College’ by the Princeton Review. In addition to this, the Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked as the top psychiatric hospital in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report as well as holding the distinction of treating the highest percentage of psychiatric patients in Maryland.

Students in the psychiatry program gain hands-on skills in a variety of settings through clinical training while studying several subjects in psychiatry. Research fellowships and specialty fellowships are also available in areas such as clinical neuropsychology, anxiety disorders, behavioural sleep, geriatric psychiatry and pharmacology. In addition, the school offers students a choice of a child and adolescent psychiatry residency or a general psychiatry residency.

The second best psychiatry school listed by Education-Portal was the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, also known as one of the top public universities in the nation, by holding the fourth-place ranking in U.S. News & World’s list of top public schools. Being a part of the University of Michigan Health System, the University’s Department of Psychiatry offers both residency and training programs in a number of psychiatry fields. In addition to general psychiatry, residencies in addition psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic and geriatric psychiatry, as well as psychosomatic medicine are also available.

The university also offers a substance abuse research training program, a clinical social work training program and training in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Many types of research are also underway involving psychotherapeutic methods and treatment of disorders such as depression and anxiety.

The third-ranked psychiatry school according to Education-Portal.com is the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Aside from being a member of the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania was also noted by U.S. News and World Report as having one of the nation’s best psychiatric hospitals in 2012. Those who wish to pursue psychiatry in this university can go on in 4-year general residencies with additional specializations in psychiatric research, psychotherapy or community psychology. Students also take part in training seminars, case conferences and clinical rotations, gaining skills in behavioural, marital and cognitive psychotherapy. Additionally, the school also receives five grants from the National Institute of Health and is able to fund fellowships and programs such as the Clinical Research Scholars Program.

Other universities were also mentioned, in no particular order, to complete a Top 10 list of Psychiatric Schools in the country. These include Boston University where fellowships are offered in psychosomatic medicine and addictions. Duke University, where the 12 psychiatric research groups, including the Schizophrenia Research Group, are administered jointly by scientists from the Singapore Institute of Mental Health. Stanford University, where there is the Grand Rounds program for psychiatry students. The University of California in Los Angeles, home to the well-known Stewart & Lynda Resnick Neuropsychotic Hospital. The University of Virginia with their Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences Clerkship Program. The University of Washington – Seattle, where their department of Psychiatry is part of the ground-breaking IMPACT (Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment) trials, which is the largest study ever conducted on depression. And last, but not least, Yale University, which has the number one-ranked program in alcohol and drug abuse in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Choosing the perfect Psychiatry School should not be solely focused on the ranking of the school, rather, consideration must be focused on the program of choice and the strength of the specialty programs of a university. In addition, facilities must also be taken into account, as programs in psychiatry are usually affiliated with particular hospitals or medical clinics, where the students will get most of their training. Factors to consider in the evaluation of the medical facility include the number of doctors and nurses on staff, the number of inpatient admissions, outpatient visits and the psychiatric patients who are treated at the facility. And as an extra, students may also want to consider programs that will help them to meet eligibility requirements for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Careers in Psychiatry are promising. Find out more on how to become one, here.

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