19 doctors weighed in:
What is the difference between the fields of psychology and psychiatry?
19 doctors weighed in

Dr. Joseph Kwentus
Psychiatry
9 doctors agree
In brief: Medical training
Psychiatrists go to medical school for 4 years and residency for another four years.
Then many take a board examination. Psychologists get training in a university and obtain a phd. They have to write a thesis and do a internship and sometimes a post doctorate.

In brief: Medical training
Psychiatrists go to medical school for 4 years and residency for another four years.
Then many take a board examination. Psychologists get training in a university and obtain a phd. They have to write a thesis and do a internship and sometimes a post doctorate.
Dr. Joseph Kwentus
Dr. Joseph Kwentus
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2 comments
Dr. Asim Rana
Partially correct answer other key difference is that psychiatrist can prescribe medicines besides using various types of therapies but psychologist can not and their major focus is psychotherapy which are of different types, cbt, IPT, Psychdynamic, Family therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy and DBT to name the few.
Dr. Catherine Spitz
Psychologists also perform assessments and must take a national licensing exam.
Dr. Bob Stewart
Clinical Psychology
4 doctors agree
In brief: A psychiatrist is an
M.D. Or D.O. Who treats mental illness.
A dr certified by the amer bd of psychiatry ; neurology has completed a residency in psychiatry ; passed a certification exam. A clinical psychologist has a pH.D., psy.D. Or ed.D. In psychology that includes an internship ; post-doctoral supervision, ; has the most training of any profession in non-drug treatments of mental/emotional disorders.

In brief: A psychiatrist is an
M.D. Or D.O. Who treats mental illness.
A dr certified by the amer bd of psychiatry ; neurology has completed a residency in psychiatry ; passed a certification exam. A clinical psychologist has a pH.D., psy.D. Or ed.D. In psychology that includes an internship ; post-doctoral supervision, ; has the most training of any profession in non-drug treatments of mental/emotional disorders.
Dr. Bob Stewart
Dr. Bob Stewart
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2 comments
Dr. Donald Jacobson
Not necessarily true. I had years of extensive psychotherapy training and supervision and continue to provide psychotherapy supervision to psychologists. Personally I have been in therapy for more than 20 years and have 30 years experience in the psychotherapy of complex dissociative disorders. Other psychiatrists I have met on this site also provide individual psychotherapy.
Dr. Bob Stewart
Although there are always some professionals with extraordinary training and experience, the typical psychiatrist today emphasizes medications and the typical psychologist emphasizes non-drug treatments. With the exception of the Dept of Defense and possibly one state, psychologists may not prescribe, so their training is almost totally on non-drug treatments and coordinating with physicians.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree
In brief: Training & experienc
My colleagues have supplied excellent information here.
I also ran across an article by dr. Sharon packer (md, psychiatrist) which illustrates the difference through a clinical story: http://tinyurl.Com/kn4wclw the other mental health professional in the story here is not a psychologist, but dr. Packer clearly describes how her medical training made a lifesaving difference to a patient.

In brief: Training & experienc
My colleagues have supplied excellent information here.
I also ran across an article by dr. Sharon packer (md, psychiatrist) which illustrates the difference through a clinical story: http://tinyurl.Com/kn4wclw the other mental health professional in the story here is not a psychologist, but dr. Packer clearly describes how her medical training made a lifesaving difference to a patient.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Dr. Pamela Pappas
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: The difference is
That psychiatrists go to medical school after college and, after graduating with an md, attend a residency in psychiatry.
After college, psychologists go to graduate school and obtain a phd.

In brief: The difference is
That psychiatrists go to medical school after college and, after graduating with an md, attend a residency in psychiatry.
After college, psychologists go to graduate school and obtain a phd.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Dr. Susan Uhrich
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Psychology
Psychologists provide counseling & perform testing & other modalities such ad hypnosis & biofeedback.
Psychiatrists provide medical treatment and psychotherapy.

In brief: Psychology
Psychologists provide counseling & perform testing & other modalities such ad hypnosis & biofeedback.
Psychiatrists provide medical treatment and psychotherapy.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Diane Minich
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Psychiatrist
is an MD or DO and can prescribe medications .
A pychologist has a doctorate in psychology and cannot prescribe medications.

In brief: Psychiatrist
is an MD or DO and can prescribe medications .
A pychologist has a doctorate in psychology and cannot prescribe medications.
Dr. Diane Minich
Dr. Diane Minich
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1 comment
Dr. Thomas Delaney
However, they can prescribe medications in certain states like Louisiana, Illinois and New Mexico after proper education, training, internship and passing the DEA licensing exam. Army Psychologists who completed the Dept. of Defense Training Program have been prescribing for 10 years.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology
In brief: Therapy vs meds
Speaking very generally, most psychologists hold either a PhD or a PsyD degree (I hold both) and practice psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists hold either an MD or a DO degree, and they prescribe psychotropic medications, and generally do not do all that much therapy these days, but years ago psychiatrists would do both.

In brief: Therapy vs meds
Speaking very generally, most psychologists hold either a PhD or a PsyD degree (I hold both) and practice psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists hold either an MD or a DO degree, and they prescribe psychotropic medications, and generally do not do all that much therapy these days, but years ago psychiatrists would do both.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Dr. Andrew Berry
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