Diagnose and treat mental illness. Psychiatrists are physicians who identify and provide care for patients with mental disorders. They prescribe and/or administer medications and psychotherapy, working with patients to determine the best combination of treatments for each. Under certain circumstances, they also recommend hospitalization.
Psychiatrists sometimes choose to specialize in a particular form of treatment (ex: cognitive behavior therapy), type of patient (ex: adolescents), or environment (ex: in-patient psych ward). Depending on the situation, they may educate a patient’s family on the diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
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