“So you want to become a consultant Psychiatrist” Career Pathways 2

Blog Post by Dr Rashid ZAMAN BSc(Hons) MBBCHIR (Cantab) DGM MRCGP MRCPsych

·         What does speciality offer?  

The speciality is interesting, because it is able to link scientific underpinning of medicine (particularly neuroscience) with its human face. The training is fairly structured and is more responsive to the personal issues that may affect doctors (children, part time work etc).

  ·         What is the career pathway to consultant stage? Any academic routes (if relevant)?  

The career pathway is fairly streamlined and structured and opportunity of becoming a consultant at a younger age (ie fairly quickly) is better then for example in surgery. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is particularly interested in encouraging UK graduates in to the speciality. Academic routes are definitely feasible and encouraged. The research opportunities are tremendous and indeed very interesting

  ·         What can I do as a student to improve my chances of getting into this specialty?  

Speak to/communicate with a consultant psychiatrist (someone like me). Seek advice, carry out SSC project in speciality. Get as much info. about the specialty during the psychiatry attachment, join Cambridge Student psychiatric society.

  ·         What would you have done if you couldn’t do your speciality?  

Probably neuroscience research with neurology

  ·         What are the drawbacks to your specialty?  

The doctor working in speciality should be able to cope with certain amount of uncertainty, and be able to deal with difficult emotional situations. I think a person can learn to deal with these aspects and I do believe learning these are helpful even in ones personal life.  

·         Useful books/ links?

Essential Psychiatry, 4th edition, Murray, Kendler, McGuffin, Wessely and Castle

Churchill’s Pocketbook of Psychiatry, Zaman and Makhdum


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