The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists says the following about the field of psychiatry on its webpage:
A psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor who has obtained additional qualifications to become a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and emotional problems.
Because of their extensive medical and psychiatric training, psychiatrists are able to view illness in an integrated way by taking into consideration the related aspects of body and mind.
Psychiatrists are trained both to recognise and treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body as a whole, as well as the effects of physical conditions on the mind.
This is particularly important, as many emotional disturbances affect various parts of the body and physical illnesses can certainly affect the mind. A psychiatrist’s medical and psychiatric training allows both the physical and emotional to be kept in perspective.
What is mental illness?
One in five people suffer from emotional problems sufficiently distressing to justify seeking professional help.
Differences between psychiatry and psychology:
Unlike a psychologist, a psychiatrist is a fully qualified medical specialist who has completed at least 13 years of medical education in all aspects of medicine, surgery and psychiatry.
Psychiatrists have a unique perspective in being able to diagnose, manage and care for people with mental illnesses and emotional problems whilst keeping both their emotional and physical states in perspective.
Dr de Klerk is currently working in Forensic Psychiatry in Western Australia. He is based in Bunbury.
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