Difference between psychologist and psychiatrist

psychologist vs psychiatrist

Many people are confused about the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists. According to Google, there are some similarities but both are different. Do you think the same?

In simple words a psychiatrist is a medical doctor and whenever they need to prescribe the medication they can do it. But on the other hand, psychologists cannot prescribe medicine, they only give advice. They are not medical doctors.

Differences in education

Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are mainly doctors who take much training, approx 11 years. First, the study, after that, they take the training in the relevant field, they become the medical doctor.

Psychologist: Usually psychologists take a 4 years degree, after their degree, they complete at least 2 years of education in the same field, and get training to obtain general registration. Once completed general registration, they are able to work in the area of psychology.

Difference in treatments

Psychiatrist’s treatments:

According to patients’ problems, the psychiatrists give medications, diagnose the illness, and provide required therapies to their patients.

  • Medication:

When the psychiatrist thinks that the patient can be recovered from medication, they prescribe medication for their patients.

  • Medical care:

Doctors provide various medical care facilities to their patients. And according to patients’ problems they provide the treatment to the patients. And they also check the physical condition of the patients.

  • Therapies:

Various therapies are given by psychiatrists to their patients. Therapies like brain stimulation are also called electroconvulsive therapy.

Psychologist treatments:

Psychologists give advice or guidelines to treat patients’ problems. Psychologists focus on talk therapy, which is also called psychotherapy. They focus on talk therapy to help their patients.

  • Differences in training

Psychiatrist training: To become the best psychiatrist, a doctor must complete at least 11 years of training in a related field. Firstly, they are required to complete their studies from a recognized university, after that 1 to 2 years work as a general practitioner and lastly, they take 5-6 years in mental illness, its diagnosis, and treatment.

Psychologist training: Psychologists need to take at least 6 years of degree and training. After that, some psychologists can also hold a master’s degree in psychology level. Some of them complete PhDs and call themselves Doctor, but actually, they hold Doctor degrees, but they are not medical doctors.


To consult a psychiatrist you need to take a referral from your family doctor, after that you can consult them. In Australia, there are 3000+ psychiatrists working. On the other hand, to consult a psychologist you don’t need any referral from anyone. You can directly consult them.  There are around 26000+ psychologists registered in Australia and New Zealand. Gold coast psychologist is one of them.

Treatment given by psychiatrist

In an emergency, a psychiatrist may give various treatments to patients according to their condition. Sometimes in some complex conditions such as severe depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. In that case, they need to be given appropriate treatment according to their problem.

Treatment given by psychologist

At the time of an emergency, the psychologist is unable to treat patients according to health guidelines and rules. Because psychologists can’t provide the medications. They only offer solutions for anxiety, depression, learning difficulty, etc.


I just want to say that when you have to distinguish between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, you need to ask your family doctor. They can give you the right information and the right advice whether a psychiatrist is best for you or a psychologist. Obviously, It depends on the situation.

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