🩺 Difference Between Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Many of the people I met don’t know the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. As these professions deal with people’s wellbeing, I thought why not clarify it briefly.

Some of these points (like the degrees mentioned) might apply only to Indian context.


Psychiatrist: MBBS + MD (Psychiatry)

Psychologist: BSc/BA + MSc/MA (Many also have MPhil and/or PhD)

Both psychiatrists and psychologists deal with mental health issues.

Psychiatrists mainly prescribe drugs.

Psychologists don’t prescribe drugs, but use therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to change thoughts and behaviour.

In psychology, there’s a specialization, clinical psychology, which requires MPhil degree and these psychologists are trained to treat mental disorders.

Ideally, psychiatrists and psychologists work as part of a team and have particular roles.

One more thing, psychologists can’t read minds. Psychology is a science and uses scientific and evidence-based methods. What they can do, is observe one’s behaviour and draw conclusions.

After years of training and practice, some of them become skilled at reading micro expressions and body posture and perceiving things which might not be apparent to others.