A child psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in the mental illness and health of children. Other names for child psychiatrists include adolescent psychiatrists and paediatric psychiatrists. These doctors must be skilled in math, biological sciences, communication and working with children and parents. Child psychiatrists must learn the balancing act of being empathetic while keeping a professional distance from patients.
Child psychiatrists diagnose, evaluate and treat emotional, mental or behavioural disorders that affect adolescents, children and their families. They diagnose the nature and extend of disorders, determine the best course of action and treatment and they talk about this plan with the child and his parents. Child psychiatrists work in multiple settings like schools, private and public clinics and hospitals. These paediatric psychiatrists may perform a variety of tasks and may need to report to a medical director. While most psychiatrists in general are men, there is a higher proportion of women in the child psychiatry field.
Child psychiatrists begin their training with a four-year bachelor's degree, typically in a biological science field. They follow this by completing a four-year medical program at a medical school. Child psychiatrists continue their training with a four-year residency program in child psychiatry, which may include courses like outpatient child, adolescent and family treatment, community consultation psychiatry and inpatient and outpatient psychiatry. At the end of their training, child psychologists apply for board certification in Child Psychiatry. Once they pass this certification, they may begin practicing as a child psychiatrist.
According to a report by Salary Wizard, the median annual salary for child psychiatrists was £122,422 as of January 2011. The middle 50 per cent of all child psychiatrists was between £106,902 and £138,884. The top 10 per cent of child psychiatrists made above £153,873, and the bottom 10 per cent made under £92,773. The salary for child psychiatrists compares favourably with the median salary of all psychiatrists, which was £106,379 in May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A report compiled by Salary Expert shows a large amount of variance of child psychiatrist salaries depending on location. Of 10 major U.S. cities surveyed, the city with the highest salary was Indianapolis, Indiana, with a salary of £178,757, and the city with the lowest salary was Houston, Texas, at £68,313 as of January 12, 2011. Additional cities with salaries above £130,000 included Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Boston, Massachusetts; and Orlando, Florida. Cities with salaries below £130,000 included Chicago, New York and Atlanta. The median salary of the 10 cities was £128,089