Psychiatrists treat mental disorders and problems such as depressive episodes, schizophrenia, mania, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders. In Canada, a career path in psychiatry requires specialized training and 12 years of higher education.
Facts and Figures
Some 4,400 licensed professionals work in Canada in clinics, mental health facilities, and private practices. Close to 60 percent of professionals are male, and some 27 percent of psychiatrists have degrees from universities in Britain, India, and other countries. Provinces such as British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador have the highest number of licensed professionals. Provinces with the lowest number include Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
Education and Training
Different Canadian universities offer programs in psychiatry, for example, the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto. Universities offer a number of different programs such as child and adolescent, addiction, general and emergency, forensic, cross-cultural, and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Programs in forensic psychiatry, for example, include different electives and core courses such as violence risk assessment, civil psychiatry, adolescent, child, and correctional psychiatry. Students are offered case discussions, mock trials, seminars, classes, academic half-days, and more. Students enrolled in geriatric psychiatry programs choose from a number of courses, including neuroimaging, palliative care, emergency medicine, neuropsychology, geriatric medicine.
Tuition fees vary by program and university and are different for part-time, full-time, and continuing students. Other fees include on leave and extension tuition fees. There are different options to finance a degree in psychiatry, including working part-time, student loans, parents paying college tuition.
Requirements, Licensing, and Exams
The requirements vary from one province to another given that registration authorities in Canada have different requirements and rules. Graduates holding degrees from Canadian, U.S., and British universities are issued licenses. In general, there are three exams to have a license issued, the Royalty College of Physicians exam, MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, and evaluation exam. The different registration authorities, however, require that graduates sit one or more (or all) exams to obtain a licence.
Roles and Responsibilities
In general, psychiatrists administer and prescribe medications and treatments, evaluate treatments, and treat and diagnose mental health disorders. Professionals also help prevent mental health disorders and alleviate the symptoms of mental conditions.
There is a host of opportunities for psychiatrists in Canada, among which geriatric, addiction, child, child and adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, social work officer, and many others. Child psychiatrists, for example, work with other healthcare professionals and specialists, school staff, agencies, families, and children. To support children and their families, they maintain contacts with pediatricians, medical societies, healthcare services agencies. Child pediatricians offer consultations and services to help treat children with mental problems. Addiction psychiatrists, on the other hand, work in substance abuse and mental health clinics and offer counseling to patients with different disorders such as impulse control disorders and addictions to food, sex, alcohol, etc. Other career options for medical professionals include behavioral therapist, mental health clinician, program consultant. There are plenty of career options and employment opportunities in light of the fact that medical professionals are in high demand in Canada.
The average salary of psychiatrists in Canada is about $176,800 CAD. Salaries vary based on experience, training, location, and specialty – see more about income. The median salary of child psychiatrists, for example, is about $264,500. The salary of experienced professionals is considerably higher and can reach $370,000 a year. Medical professionals who specialize in geriatric psychiatry get between $60,000 and $120,000, and the median salary is about $80,000.