Have Graduated In Psychiatry – What Next?By
One of the most challenging and yet satisfying professions is psychiatry. Because of the rapid urbanization and westernization of the Indian society, the amount of stress and emotional trauma that people have to deal with has increased gradually. There is an urgent need for psychiatrists in the country who are capable of helping people to deal with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.
Graduate in psychiatry
So, if you have graduated in psychiatry, you will have a number of opportunities waiting for you, in India and abroad. Talented and qualified psychiatrists are at a premium not just in India, but also in the West. There is a massive demand for these professionals in the country.
It is the psychiatrist’s job to help people come out of mental health disorders such as multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, stress and emotional trauma. Without wasting too much time talking about what a psychiatrist does, let’s quickly tell you what to do next after your graduation in Psychiatry.
Next after graduating in psychiatry
There are two ways of becoming a psychiatrist in India. One is to do a postgraduate course – MD – in psychiatry and the other is to get a Diploma in Psychiatry, called as DPM.
- MD in psychiatry: Doing an MD in psychiatry takes 3 years and this is something you can do only if you have an MBBBS degree. A DPM takes 2 years. Another option is to do your Diploma of National Board Exam (or DNB). The DNB is an equivalent of an MD degree.
- Multiple options:You can find work in clinical psychiatry, neuro psychiatry, social psychiatry, criminal psychiatry, educational psychiatry, industrial psychiatry and experimental Psychiatry. Most psychiatrists look to find jobs in clinical psychiatry, that’s where the best pay packages are.
Following your MD in psychiatry, you can specialize in community psychiatry, child psychiatry, social psychiatry, preventive psychiatry or forensic psychiatry.
Job prospects for psychiatrists in India
There are a plenty of jobs available to psychiatrists in India. You could find work in government or private hospitals as a clinical psychiatrist. You could work in rehab facilities for alcohol and drug addiction.
- Mental health disorder:You will work with people with mental health disorders, manic depressives, psychotics, alcoholics, juvenile delinquents, drug addicts, dipsomaniacs and victims of rape and sexual abuse. The importance of your job to the society cannot be emphasized enough.
- Psychiatrists: Can start their own private practice or work in hospitals or health institutes. Of course, since you are a recent graduate, it is much better to pick up some experience in hospitals before venturing with your own private practice.
- Teaching role:As a psychiatrist you can also find work in a teaching role in many colleges and universities. You can also establish a solid income by carrying out seminars on mental health in different companies. You will find work in prisons, nonprofits, and corporate houses, and can work as a trainer or motivator.
- Scope in IT:Many IT companies have a team of psychiatrists as a part of their in-house staff to help their employees deal with stressful conditions at the workplace. Many sports teams, such as IPL teams, hire the services of a full-time psychiatrist to make sure that their players are always in the best frame of mind.
Earning of psychiatrists in India
How much you make as a psychiatrist will depend on where you work. Some organizations pay much better than others. In government hospitals, you will get the same pay as other medical specialists. So if your first job as a psychiatrist is at a government hospital, you can expect to be paid Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month.
- Private hospitals: Pay much better, as there is a great demand for qualified psychiatrists there. You could get a pay package in the range of Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000 in private hospitals easily and even more in large hospital chains such as Fortis and Apollo Hospitals.
- Private clinics:You can also find a job as a psychiatrist in nursing homes, polyclinics, rehab facilities and health centers. Teaching and research jobs are a decent option as well.
- Income:The average income of a clinical psychiatrist in India is Rs. 12 lakhs per year, with bonus included. So this is not a bad career option to pursue. You can expect to make good money through the course of your career in psychiatry.
Demand for Indian psychiatrists from abroad
There are an estimated 3,000 qualified psychiatrists in India. This is a pathetically low number, and that number might get even lower. That’s because there is a huge demand for Indian psychiatrists from abroad, especially from English speaking countries such as the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
- Options in abroad:Many Indian psychiatrists are packing their bags and leaving for better opportunities abroad. Not just senior mental health specialists, even recent graduates are moving abroad.
- Indian recruiter:One of the biggest recruiters of Indian psychiatrists has been the National Health Service of the UK. NHS routinely organizes one week paid trips to the UK for recent graduates in psychiatry from India, where they are interviewed at length by a team of experts. Successful candidates are placed in an international fellowship program, many of whom go on to work in UK hospitals.
- Pay packages:Indian psychiatrists are attracted by the excellent pay packages. An average psychiatrist in the UK makes between £80,000 and £100,000 a year, which is a very good income indeed. Also the quality of life is much better in the West than in India. There is hence a scramble among psychiatry graduates from India to get out of the country to brighter shores abroad.
- Drawbacks:This is certainly not good news for India, as many positions in psychiatry departments in government and private hospitals in the country remain unfulfilled because of the lack of qualified professionals in the country.
- DrAlok Sarin, a leading consultant psychiatrist based in New Delhi, who works at the Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, said in an interview with The Times of India, “When we recently advertised for the post of junior psychiatrists to do community work and for drug trials, we couldn’t find anyone.”
- Dr S.K. Chaturvedi, a senior professor of psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, says that of the 20 students who do post-graduate programmes from his institute, there are at least 15 that leave the country.
This is not good news at all. However, as Dr.Chaturvedi says, many psychiatrists return to India after a few years of practicing abroad. Of course, whether you work in India or abroad after your graduation in psychiatry is a decision that is left entirely to you.