Difference Between Psychiatrist and Psychologist

Main Difference

The term psychiatrist and psychologist are often confused for the same meaning by the people. There are lot of differences between these two fields of study. The main difference between psychiatrist and psychologist is that a psychiatrist can write prescriptions and while a psychologist can’t write prescriptions, however, he can recommend the patient to a psychologist.

What is Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry. He is basically expert in diagnosis and treatment of mental health like mental disorders. He is a medical doctors and evaluate patients to check whether their symptoms are the due to physical illness, a combination of physical and mental or a strictly psychiatric one. A psychiatrist may perform a mental status and physical examination, brain imaging such as CT or CAT scan, MRI, PET and blood testing. Psychiatrist write prescriptions and may also use psychotherapy, however, most of the psychiatrist refer the patient to psychologist or another expert therapist for weekly to bi-monthly psychotherapy.

What is Psychologist?

A psychologist is a doctor who evaluates, diagnoses and examine mental process of patient. A psychologist provide mental health care and some conduct research and provide consultation services. He work with patient in various therapeutic contexts like clinical, counseling and school psychologists. There can be industrial, organizational, community, and academics psychologists as well who performs psychological research, techniques and theories to “real world” problems and questions in their respective field of study. According to American Psychological Association (APA), there are over 56 types of work with patient in various therapeutic contexts like clinical, counseling and school psychologists.

Key Differences

  1. A psychologist work with patient in various therapeutic contexts like clinical, counseling and school psychologists. A psychiatrist is only a physician specialists.
  2. Psychologist deals in almost all areas of life either it is about mental health, industrial & organizational problems or academic problems. While psychiatrist deals in only mental health issues.
  3. A psychiatrist can write prescriptions and while a psychologist can’t write prescriptions, however, he can recommend the patient to a psychologist.
  4. A psychologist has specialist training in non-medical interventions but will work closely with general practitioners or psychiatrists.
  5. In order to become a psychologist, you are required to start your undergraduate program with major in psychology after that you can earn doctorate degree in psychology.
  6. A psychiatrist is usually concerned with the patient well-being and their mental problems while a psychologist emphasis on the patient thoughts, feelings and mental health.

Comparison Video

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Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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