Psychiatry Careers

Psychiatry is a specialization within a physician’s postgraduate degree (Doctor of Medicine, MD).
Psychiatry is a lucrative professional career, which deals with the mental, emotional and behavioural disorders in a person. Often, mental and psychosomatic problems arise in patients with various surgical, medical and gynaecological causes. Psychology is the systematic study of human behaviour in all its aspects, the study of the human mind as an individual and a part of society.

Psychiatrists are the professionals who look after patients with mental problems, such as depression and schizophrenia. Treatments are made on the basis of counselling followed by the prescription of medicine.

You can pursue a career as a psychiatrist after completing an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) in Psychiatry, after your MBBS. You can also take admission in M.D.(Psychiatry) after completing your graduation/post-graduation in Psychology. Another option you have to become a qualified psychiatrist is to do a Diploma in Psychiatric medicine (DPM) from a recognised educational institute. 

Courses & Eligibility

Doctors who have successfully completed the entire MBBS programme of study are eligible for specialization in psychiatry. There are two options:

  • A postgraduate (MD) in psychiatry 

  • A diploma in psychiatry (DPM)

The MD course in Psychiatry takes three years to complete while the diploma takes two years. There are various institutions offering these courses in psychiatry. 

Besides the MD and the DPM, there is a third option for study.  The National Board of Examinations conducts a programme called Diploma of National Board Exam (DNB). The DNB is considered to be equivalent to a MD degree. 

The academic curriculum for the MD programme includes psychology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the brain, neurology and neurosurgery. Special aspects of psychology such as child psychiatry, community psychiatry, social psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and preventive psychiatry are also taught in the programme. The course also includes practical training at mental hospitals.

Career Prospects

As in all other branches of medicine, psychiatrists too begin with a diagnosis first and then follow it up with treatment.

They often work with other occupational therapists and social workers for the rehabilitation of patients. Psychiatrists treat patients through counselling, psychotherapy, and if required use electric convulsive therapy (ECT) or the administration of drugs. Where required, they even work on desensitising patients, mainly through hypnosis.

career as a psychiatrist has good prospects. As we grow more technologically advanced, we also find ourselves in more stressful situations. Mental illness and psychological disorders are prevalent in our world today more than ever and as a result of this, career prospects for aspiring psychiatrists are looking up.


As a psychiatrist you can find jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, polyclinic, health centres, medical colleges and research institutions. Depending on where you work, your salary as a psychiatrist will vary from one organisation to the other. Government hospitals consider the job of a psychiatrist on par with other specialists and offer the same salary.  Salaries can range between Rs.15, 000 –Rs.20, 000 per month. In private hospitals, the pay-package is slightly higher.


Colleges that offer courses in  Psychiatry and related fields are listed below:

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • B. M. Institute of Mental Health, Ahmedabad
  • Central Institute of Psychiatry
    Ranchi, Jharkhand
    Courses Offered: MD (Psychiatry), Diploma in Psychological Medicine (DPM), Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, MPhil programs
  • Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College
    Vellore 632 004, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Lady Hardinge Medical College
    Bhagat Singh Road, Pin – 110001
    New Delhi
    Phone: 23343984
  • National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS)
    Hosur Road, Bangalore – 560029, India
    Telephone: 91-080-26995001/5002, 26564140, 26561811, 26565822
    Fax: 91-080-26564830
    Courses Offered: MD Degree in Psychiatry, Diploma in Psychiatry (DPM), M.Phil. in Mental Health & Social Psychology, M.Phil. in Psychiatric Social Work, M.Phil. in Neurophysiology, M.Phil. in Biophysics, M.Phil. in Neurosciences, M.Sc. in Psychiatric Nursing, Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (DPN)
  • Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)
    Sector-12, Chandigarh, Pin- 160 012, India
    Phone: 0091-172-2755569, 2756565
    Course (s) Offered: MD Psychiatry
  • All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Haji Ali, K. Khadye Marg,
    Mumbai, Maharashtra
    India – 400034
    Telephone: 91-22-24964331 / 32 / 40 / 41, 91-22-24935035
    Fax: 91-22-24962737

For list of medical colleges in various states, UTs and major cities in India, click on the names given below: