Psychiatrist Rata Mate Hinengaro

Psychiatrists assess, diagnose and provide treatment for people with mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. They study how the brain and nervous systems function and how these interact with people's environments and affect the way people think, feel and behave.

Psychiatrists may do some or all of the following:

  • study patients' medical and psychiatric histories
  • understand patients' mental health state by talking with them
  • provide personalised treatments such as talking therapy or meditation
  • carry out tests, such as blood tests, to determine treatment
  • prescribe and monitor medication
  • work with patients and their families/whānau to understand patients' likely responses to treatment
  • work with other team members, such as nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, to provide assessments and intervention, and co-ordinate rehabilitation and recovery programmes
  • mentor trainee psychiatrists
  • prepare reports and give evidence in court
  • advocate for improved services for people with mental health issues.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for psychiatrists includes:

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work involving psychology or counselling
  • work in support and advice services such as Lifeline or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Personal Qualities

Psychiatrists need to be:

  • compassionate
  • good at observing, listening and communicating
  • understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment
  • able to communicate with people from various cultures
  • able to manage their time and work well under pressure
  • skilled at analysing and interpreting information
  • good decision makers and problem solvers.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for psychiatrists includes:

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work involving psychology or counselling
  • work in support and advice services such as Lifeline or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths, chemistry, physics, biology and English.

Psychiatrists can earn around $72K-$178K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Psychiatrist are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Experienced psychiatrists may become clinical leaders, work as university lecturers, or focus on an area of psychiatry such as:

  • child and adolescent psychiatry
  • psychiatry of older people
  • forensic psychiatry (helping those who have a criminal record and a mental illness)
  • consultation-liaison psychiatry (helping patients with multiple medical conditions, usually working with doctors in general hospitals).
Psychiatrist