- The medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists are MDs who receive additional training and serve a supervised residency in their specialty. They may also have additional training in a psychiatric subspecialty, such as child psychiatry or neuropsychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, which psychologists cannot do. According to the American Psychiatric Association: "A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It takes many years of education and training to become a psychiatrist: He or she must graduate from college and then medical school, and go on to complete four years of residency training in the field of psychiatry. (Many psychiatrists undergo additional training so that they can further specialize in such areas as child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and/or psychoanalysis.) This extensive medical training enables the psychiatrist to understand the body's functions and the complex relationship between emotional illness and other medical illnesses. The psychiatrist is thus the mental health professional and physician best qualified to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of both mental and physical distress."
* * *1. The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. 2. The diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. For some types of p. not listed below, see also subentries under therapy, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis. SYN: psychiatrics. [psych- + G. iatreia, medical treatment]- analytic p. SYN: psychoanalytic p..- biologic p. a branch of p. that emphasizes molecular, genetic, and pharmacologic approaches in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.- community p. p. focusing on the detection, prevention, early treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with emotional disorders and social deviance as they develop in the community rather than as encountered one-on-one, in private practice, or at larger centralized psychiatric facilities; particular emphasis is placed on the social-interpersonal-environmental factors that contribute to mental illness.- contractual p. an older term for psychiatric intervention voluntarily assumed by the patient, who is prompted by personal difficulties or suffering and who retains control over participation with the psychiatrist.- cross-cultural p. a field of p. with interest in the study of psychologic and psychiatric phenomena as differentially expressed in the cultures of different countries.- descriptive p. that aspect of the practice of p. that deals with the diagnosis of mental disorders.- dynamic p. SYN: psychoanalytic p..- forensic p., legal p. the application of p. in courts of law, e.g., in determinations for commitment, competency, fitness to stand trial, responsibility for crime.- industrial p. the application of the principles of p. to problems in business and industry.- orthomolecular p. an approach to p. that focuses on the use of megavitamins and nutrition in the treatment of such mental illnesses as the schizophrenic disorders.- psychoanalytic p. psychiatric theory and practice emphasizing the principles of psychoanalysis. SYN: analytic p., dynamic p..- social p. an approach to psychiatric theory and practice emphasizing the cultural and sociologic aspects of mental disorder and treatment; the application of p. to social problems. SEE ALSO: community p..
* * *psy·chi·a·try -trē n, pl -tries a branch of medicine that deals with the science and practice of treating mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders esp. as originating in endogenous causes or resulting from faulty interpersonal relationships
* * *n.the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management, and prevention.• psychiatric adj.
* * *psy·chi·a·try (si-kiґə-tre) [psych- + -iatry] the branch of medicine that deals with the study, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. psychiatric adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.