Updated 23 June 2014

What is a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised in psychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and psychotherapy to treat depression and other mental illnesses.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, who has specialised in the field of psychiatry. To be able to practice, a psychiatrist must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), as a psychiatrist, under the specialist register.

After this a doctor could specialise and become a “specialist”. It takes another four years of study to gain the qualification to practice as a psychiatrist. This qualification is usually indicated as a MMed Psych or a FF Psych or FC Psych.

Source: South African Society of Psychiatrists


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