Canada has put more importance on mental health, among many other things, during the coronavirus pandemic, because a lot of people have suffered from mental health problems and illnesses while under lockdowns and quarantines.
The global pandemic has increased the stress levels of so many Canadians while decreasing physical activity due to restrictions on several activities. Thus, medical professionals such as psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists are becoming more in demand.
Also, the millennials and the Gen Z population have stressed the importance of taking care of our mental health, as they are also one of the biggest sufferers from mental illnesses and mental health concerns, from anxiety and depression to more serious factors.
For all these reasons, psychiatrists are essential and more in demand than ever in the Canadian medical industry. Now that we know how in-demand psychiatrists are, here is everything you must know about becoming a psychiatrist in Canada.
Educational Requirements for Psychiatrists in Canada
Psychiatrists in Canada are required to have at least a bachelor of science degree. In Quebec, a completed college program and a year of pre-medicine university studies are usually required. You must also be a graduate of an approved medical school.
Most medical schools expect the students to have taken and passed at least one year of biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, and calculus and you must have these courses on your degree before becoming a psychiatrist. The average GPA of accepted psychiatry applicants is 3.71.
Licensing and Other Professional Requirements
Psychiatry is a regulated profession in Canada, so you must be certified and registered by a regulatory authority from your jurisdiction before using the title “psychiatrist”.
Aspiring psychiatrists must prepare for the Canadian certification exam for psychiatrists, which is regularly administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They must pass the examination before gaining a professional license, allowing them to practice psychiatry as an occupation.
Skills, Knowledge, and Other Requirements
Aside from taking the relevant courses in college and obtaining the required degrees and licensing certifications, psychiatrists in Canada must-have skills, knowledge, and other requirements to make them more competent as psychiatrists working in Canadian settings.
Psychiatrists in Canada should diagnose and treat diseases and other psychiatric disorders, prescribe the proper medication and treatment, order the necessary laboratory tests and other relevant examinations for the patients, and study the nature, cause, and development of these psychiatric conditions affecting their patients.
They must be highly skilled in using specialized instrumentation and equipment, treating people, analyzing information, and projecting outcomes based on the diagnosis of the patients. They must be excellent at advising and consulting people for their patient’s safety and security. They must also have above-average communication skills.
Psychiatrist Salary and Wages in Canada
Psychiatrists working in Canada earn up to $214,210 a year. Records of hourly wages are not available, but across the country, psychiatrists can earn more money depending on their experience, degrees attained in colleges and universities, and other relevant information that can affect their salaries. Some psychiatrists earn up to $560,036 a year across the nation. Manitoba psychiatrists make the highest among the nation’s psychiatrists at $662,710 yearly.
Prospects in Psychiatry in Canada
According to some relevant information, there will be an expected shortage of psychiatrists at the national level until 2028. According to the same report, the OECD has cited that Canada currently has 2.8 doctors for every 1000 people.
They are also ranked 24th out of the 30 OECD member nations for doctors per 1000 people. Canada is indeed facing a shortage of psychiatrists to accommodate the population.
Some factors contributing to the shortage of psychiatrists in Canada include the strictness of the rules regarding the people eligible to become psychiatrists in the country, its rapidly aging population of older psychiatrists, and the lack of interest in the younger generations to apply and pursue psychiatry as a career.
Also, access to become a licensed and qualified psychiatrist in Canada is even more challenging for those who finished their studies outside the country. Most licensed psychiatrists also opt to become university professors and instructors rather than provide psychiatric services because of the high offers of salary.
Lastly, the many years a psychiatry candidate is expected to study before becoming a licensed professional has an impact on the low uptake of the profession.
With increased attention focused on psychiatrists and mental health, Canada needs more people to take advantage of the opportunity to become licensed psychiatrists.