PSY­CHI­A­TRIST On your mind

THE LOW­DOWN

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

CLOCK­WORK An av­er­age day of a psy­chi­a­trist. A doc­tor who is an in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant would have a dif­fer­ent work sched­ule de­pend­ing on the tim­ings of the clin­ics he at­tends 9am: Reach hospi­tal 10am: Ex­am­ine pa­tients 12pm: Take stock of the ad­min­is­tra­tive work of the hospi­tal Psy­chi­a­try is the branch of medicine deal­ing with the treat­ment and preven­tion of men­tal ill­ness. Men­tal dis­or­ders are char­ac­terised by a va­ri­ety of symp­toms such as ab­nor­mal moods or be­hav­iour, ex­ces­sive anx­i­ety and hal­lu­ci­na­tion. Many men­tal dis­or­ders are be­lieved to re­sult from a com­bi­na­tion of emo­tional, so­cial and bi­o­log­i­cal fac­tors. To treat the pa­tient, a psy­chi­a­trist has to first have lengthy coun­selling ses­sions with him or her to get to the crux of the prob­lem. A cou­ple of tests are then car­ried out to di­ag­nose the ail­ment and a com­bi­na­tion of drugs and ther­apy could then be pre­scribed for a cure. Psy­chi­a­trists deal with the sci­ence of men­tal health, wherein clin­i­cal dis­or­ders of psy­chi­a­try, and prob­lems per­tain­ing to so­cial, oc­cu­pa­tional, and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­cerns, are treated with med­i­ca­tion and coun­selling. Two things crit­i­cal to this pro­fes­sion are sym­pa­thy and pa­tience 1pm: Lunch 2pm: Visit spe­cialty clin­ics such as child guid­ance and psy­cho­sex­ual cen­tres 4.30pm: Case dis­cus­sions and sem­i­nars 7pm: Call it a day

THE PAY­OFF Most doc­tors would be work­ing as con­sul­tants with hos­pi­tals or pri­vate clin­ics. Some may have their own set-ups, or have tem­po­rary ar­range­ments with hos­pi­tals. The pay is usu­ally based on the num­ber of pa­tients one ex­am­ines. It may go up as one gains more ex­pe­ri­ence. One can also work with in­ter­na­tional agen- cies such as the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Unicef etc, or with PSUs and gov­ern­ment set-ups like jails, or large or­gan­i­sa­tions that have their own med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties. Other av­enues are re­search or be­com­ing an ad­viser at phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing psy­choac­tive drugs. In a gov­ern­ment set-up, the pay bands are R50,000-R60,000 a month (en­try level), R80,000-R90,000 a month (mid­dle level) and R1 lakh- R1.5 lakh a month (se­nior level). In a pri­vate hospi­tal, a doc­tor has sim­i­lar pay. How­ever, a se­nior doc­tor with a good prac­tice and ex­pe­ri­ence may earn more

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