Psychiatry is a health care profession that generally focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental or psychopathological disorders. When this attention is focused on children, adolescents and their families, the profession is referred to as Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Therefore, the child and adolescent psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect adolescents, children, and their family members. Such a professional offers many benefits including medical care, professional ethics, and a good medical education.
A Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist applies the knowledge they acquire after a long training period in which they work successfully with patients and provide appropriate treatment. The treatment process makes use of biological factors, clinical investigations, psychosocial factors, environmental and demographic factors, patient history and others to provide treatment, counseling, therapy and care of patients. The Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist at a diagnosis and shares this diagnosis with patients and their families. It all starts with a comprehensive diagnostic exam of the patient with attention paid to areas of emotional, developmental, genetic, physical, educational, cognitive and social components among lots of others. A treatment plan will then be formulated which will consider all the various components. The treatment may include medication, further consultations with other psychiatrists, group therapies, counseling and engage with institutions such as juvenile courts, schools and so on.
The academic and professional training in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry is comprehensive. It takes about four years of medical school followed by at least three years of residency training in neurology, medicine, and psychiatry. Another two years of child psychiatry is also an essential part of the training. The trainee child and adolescent psychiatrist will work with children, adults and adolescents. During this two year training period, special attention is paid to main disorders that affect children and adolescents. These include ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, mental retardation, mood disorders, depression, anxiety and many others.
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