Psychiatrist

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. Examples of these include eating disorders, e.g. anorexia nervosa, depression and bipolar disorder.

It takes many years of study to become a psychiatrist. They attend medical school for the same length of time as other doctors but then undergo a period of further study to train as a psychiatrist. Many psychiatrists treat a wide range of mental health problems but others choose to focus on a particular area. This requires additional training to do so.

Many people confuse a psychiatrist with a psychologist but the main difference is that a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in mental illness. This means that they can prescribe drugs and other forms of treatment unlike a psychologist who can only use therapy and counselling.

Role of a psychiatrist at Harley Street

A Harley Street psychiatrist is a well-qualified, highly experienced professional who specialises in a particular area, for example, child psychiatry.

They have held a consultant post in the NHS before moving into private practice and are members of one or more professional bodies such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

They have in-depth knowledge and expertise relating to their speciality and use this for the welfare of their patients.

Some psychiatrists work closely with psychologists to provide the best level of treatment and care to their patients.

Find out more about this fascinating area of study in our psychiatry sub-section, within the Clinics section of the guide.