Psychiatrist
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
13d ago

Pay varies for psychiatrists and registrars (those in training), depending on seniority, hours, location and frequency of on-

call or emergency cover.

  • Registrars working for a district health board (DHB) usually earn between $72,000 and $178,000 a year.
  • Qualified psychiatrists working for a DHB usually earn between $152,000 and $217,000.
  • Psychiatrists working in the private sector may earn up to $600,000.
  • Sources : Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), '2013 to 2016 National DHB Collective Agreement (MECA)', 2014;
  • Resident Doctors' Association, '2017 to 2018 DHB Collective Agreement', 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Psychiatrists may do some or all of the following :

  • study patients' medical and psychiatric histories
  • understand patients' mental health state by talking with them
  • provide personalised treatments such as talking therapy or meditation
  • carry out tests, such as blood tests, to determine treatment
  • prescribe and monitor medication
  • work with patients and their families / whānau to understand patients' likely responses to treatment
  • work with other team members, such as nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, to provide assessments and intervention, and co-
  • ordinate rehabilitation and recovery programmes

  • mentor trainee psychiatrists
  • prepare reports and give evidence in court
  • advocate for improved services for people with mental health issues.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Psychiatrists need to have knowledge of :

  • how to diagnose psychiatric disorders
  • how the brain and the human body work
  • different diseases and illnesses, both mental and physical
  • medicines and treatments, and the effects these have on patients
  • medical ethics and law
  • new research, treatments and practices in their field.
  • Psychiatrists :

  • usually work regular business hours, but may also be on call in evenings or weekends
  • usually work in community mental health centres, hospitals or clinics
  • may care for very distressed people, which can be stressful
  • may travel locally and overseas to attend conferences.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a psychiatrist you need to :

  • complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at the University of Otago, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
  • complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland
  • work for one to two years as a house officer (supervised junior doctor) in a hospital
  • complete another five years of training through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Fellowship programme.
  • This includes on-the-job training in different specialisations, and passing examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

    You also need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

    The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths, chemistry, physics, biology and English.

    Psychiatrists need to be :
  • compassionate
  • compassionate
  • good at observing, listening and communicating
  • understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment
  • able to communicate with people from various cultures
  • able to manage their time and work well under pressure
  • skilled at analysing and interpreting information
  • good decision makers and problem solvers.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for psychiatrists includes :

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work involving psychology or counselling
  • work in support and advice services such as Lifeline or Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • Registration

    Psychiatrists need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

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