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4 Skills That Make a Great Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist Patient

If you are thinking of adopting a psychiatric working environment, you need to be aware of the skills you’ll need to acquire. If you are a medical trainee or a student and your dream has been to become a psychiatrist, you’ll need to acquire the right knowledge if you intend to run a successful psychiatry in a luxury setting. Here are 4 important skills that you’ll need to acquire if you are hoping to become a great psychiatrist.

1. Communication Skills

As a psychiatrist, you spend so much time listening to patients in a non-judgmental way to understand the circumstances of their lives as well as their thoughts and feelings. A comprehensive history of the patient is crucial when it comes to diagnosing them. When patients have a range of communication difficulties supporting them can involve listening to them and guiding them the right way. Without effective communication and listening skills, it’ll be impossible to establish a productive and supportive connection with patients.

2. Management of Uncertainty

A great skill a psychiatrist should have is uncertainty management. Humans have unique behaviors and experiences. In the field of psychiatry, you’ll find that patients with the same condition – such as schizophrenia – showcase varying symptoms. As a psychiatrist, you need to be aware that patients do not fit neatly into boxes. For that reason, you need to develop skills that can allow you to manage uncertainty especially when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients with mental health.

3. Handling Emotions

Patients’ behaviors and the stories they tell can impact the way a professional communicates or emphasizes with them. For instance, it can be difficult dealing with an overly aggressive or hostile patient. As a professional, it’s imperative not to take such kinds of reactions personally because the patient may be struggling with issues you may not be aware of. However, the truth is, dealing with these instances is often more difficult than anyone could imagine, and it’s completely human for you as a professional to be frightened or even angry with the reactions of your patient. However, dealing with these situations in the most professional and understanding way is a skill you’ll need to develop. The idea is to remain calm as the patient gets angry or reacts in a way you find frustrating – but this requires so much practice.

4. A Wider Understanding of Illness

As a psychiatrist, it’s imperative not to solely focus on the biological factors of mental illness as social and psychological lenses are crucial as well. Even though genetics play a crucial role when it comes to mental illness, sociocultural contexts and the effects of life experiences are also important. For that reason, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the social and psychological aspects of an illness and not just the biological.

If you are keen on developing and diversifying your career, the skills you acquire along the way can be very crucial. Having the above skills and developing others will certainly give you an advantage when developing your career as a psychiatrist.


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