Medical school, residency and fellowship programs for aspiring psychiatrists may all be found at 4-year universities. After completing medical school and a psychiatry residency, an optional fellowship in psychiatry allows psychiatrists to further specialize their practices.
According to the 2016 rankings of U.S. News and World Report, the following schools provide the necessary training for aspiring psychiatrists:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Harvard University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||$55,850|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||$31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4-year, Private||$55,680|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private||$52,491|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||$55,418|
|University of California-San Diego||Sand Diego, CA||4-year, Public||$31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Public||$50,010 in-state, $51,464 out-of-state|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4-year, Private||$53,575|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||$32,428 in-state, $50,854 out-of-state|
Source: *U.S. News & World Report
School Selection Criteria
Prospective psychiatrists may consider the following when choosing a program:
- At the M.D. level, students should choose a program that allows for some additional concentration in psychiatry, which could be available through elective coursework or clerkships.
- At the residency and fellowship levels, aspiring psychiatrists may want to compare salary, location, benefits, housing allowances, educational allowances, leave time, malpractice insurance and other working conditions when choosing a school.
- Dual-degree options could allow students to earn an M.D. alongside a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health or Doctor of Philosophy in a subject like microbiology or neuroscience.
- All practicing medical doctors are required to hold state licensure, so choosing an accredited school is of utmost importance.
Doctor of Medicine - Psychiatry Training
An M.D. program is a 4-year experience that is mandatory for all aspiring doctors, including psychiatrists. An appropriate bachelor's degree, which has satisfied prerequisites in subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, is required for admission. Throughout the program, students will complete coursework as well as clinical experiences, commonly known as clerkships, in a variety of subjects, such as surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, gynecology and psychiatry. Psychiatry clerkships can last 1-2 months and can be completed in various hospital settings.
Postdoctoral Psychiatry Residency
At the residency level, residents will gain exposure to many types of psychiatric concepts, patients, lectures and research opportunities. Psychiatric residency programs are paid positions. Residents can practice medicine at on-campus medical clinics, at local hospitals and at treatment centers. Individual rotations may last weeks or an entire year. As they gain proficiency, residents will usually teach less-experienced residents.
Psychiatric fellowships are available to individuals who have completed or have almost completed their psychiatry residencies. Fellows spend a portion of their time working at hospitals or clinics and a portion attending seminars, consulting with doctors and supervising residents. Individuals who complete these 1-year programs are suited for clinical, educational and research-based careers.
Post-bachelor's training for psychiatrists is extensive, so it is important for aspiring professionals to choose a medical school that can support their educational needs and career goals.