Top 3 Characteristics A Good Psychiatrist Should Have

by Katie Gorden Internet Writer

According to the American Psychiatric Association, a psychiatrist is the primary branch of a medical doctor/physician specializing in mental health. They can provide diagnosis, treatment (medication), and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

As a doctor, a psychiatrist can provide various treatments, including psychotherapy, medications, psychological interventions, and treatments like electroconvulsive therapy, as needed. Psychiatrists also work to identify and treat chemical imbalances that make patients behave adversely.

With such a wide range of job duties and responsibilities in a demanding field, good communication skills, ethics, and morals are some of the specific characteristics that a good psychiatrist should have. For students considering this lucrative and possibly life-saving medicine field, the top three characteristics are listed below.

Willingness to spend time educating patients

Mental health assessment and diagnosis can be highly complex. As a patient, it is more than just knowing how to handle difficult situations. Patients and their families depend on psychiatrists to bridge the gap in understandable and comprehensive ways; they want to understand and help with what is happening. Therefore, psychiatrists must be willing to educate the patient and the patient's family on everything from the diagnosis and medication to any side effects from medication and what the future may bring.

Research shows that a family educated on a patient's mental illness and issues improves the treatment and outcome. When a family gains knowledge, there is decreased relapse, better treatment adherence, lower self-stigma, reduced depression and bipolar episodes, and better overall patient quality. If you select one of the careers in psychiatry, taking the time to educate the family members of a patient will make them all partners in the patient's care.


As a psychiatrist, empathy is a skill that can be learned through education and practice. It is the ability to put yourself in the patient's shoes and understand the patient's feelings. Having empathy is not to say that psychiatrists agree with the patient's feelings, but based on the patient's experiences, they understand why they feel a certain way. However, a patient should never know how a psychiatrist thinks about them.

Psychiatrists are human, and to avoid becoming overwhelmed with empathy, worry, or feelings that block ethical work, they should find ways to relieve stress or discuss those feelings with colleagues. Other things that psychiatrist must remember are:

1. There are guidelines and ethics that psychiatrists must follow that affect empathy.

2. They cannot get emotionally involved.

3. They are not supposed to make decisions based on empathetic feelings.

4. They must conduct themselves professionally.

Good listening and observation skills

A large part of a psychiatrist's job involves listening and observing. That is the foundation of how a diagnosis is formulated in psychiatry. Psychiatrists can improve their listening skills by restating what the patient said, summarizing what was said, and offering encouragement to keep the patient talking. As they talk, psychiatrists observe for changes in behavior, tone, invocation and look for any clues or signs of distress.

Some other things that a psychiatrist can do to improve listening and observing skills are:

1. Avoid distractions by turning off cellphones, notifications on a computer, or anything that may create a distraction. The patient deserves all of your attention.

2. Let your patient finish talking before you start. It is good to pause between speakers, and this is a great way to ensure that your patient has completed their thoughts aren't interrupting them.

3. A psychiatrist can build trust and rapport by actively listening and asking the patient to give more information. Giving your patient time and space to speak shows interest and is a great way to build confirmation and encourages trust between the doctor and the patient.

Being a better listener and observer enhances diagnosis, treatment, and the relationship between the doctor and the patient.

A psychiatrist is a doctor that can provide psychotherapy, medications, psychological interventions, and electroconvulsive therapy. There are several characteristics of a good psychiatrist. However, the top three characteristics that a good psychiatrist should have are a willingness to teach the patient or patient's family about diagnosis and treatment plan, empathy, and good listening and observation skills.

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About Katie Gorden Innovator   Internet Writer

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Joined APSense since, January 7th, 2020, From Eureka, CA, United States.

Created on Apr 19th 2021 15:39. Viewed 125 times.


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