For any person in need of treatment for a mental health problem, it is important for the person to fully understand the difference between psychiatry and psychology. Both of these medical disciplines are involved in the field of mental health.

The educational requirements to become either a psychiatrist or a psychologist are different and the training given dictates the kind of service which can be offered.

The first requirement for a psychiatrist is to obtain a bachelors degree. Then, complete a 4 year course at medical school qualifying with an M.D degree. Resident training in a hospital psychiatric unit for a 4 year period is mandatory, to enable the person gain the necessary experience in diagnosing mental disorders.

This is similar to a neurologist undergoing specialized training to obtain the necessary experience in problems associated with neurology.

The educational requirements for a psychologist can encompass different degrees, and cover a period of five to seven years of learning. Some psychologists choose to work on scientific research, whilst others opt for working with individuals or groups.

Psychologists will conduct and interpret psychological tests on order to recommend the best kind of treatment for a patient, but they are not allowed to prescribe any form of medication, this has to be done in consultation with a psychiatrist.

Despite the two professions differing, psychologists and psychiatrists often work together. If the psychiatrist feels that a patient requires medicine a psychiatrist will be consulted. On the other hand if a psychiatrist feels that even if the patent is taking medicine, but would benefit from counseling, then a psychologist would be consulted

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