Psychiatrists are medically-qualified doctors, with specialist training in mental health difficulties.
Psychiatry relies upon high quality clinical skills, as assessment and diagnosis has little help from modern technology.
Personal qualities should include:
- good listening skills
- careful history taking
- the ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team
- effective liaison with other agencies
- a high degree of interpersonal skills
The Royal College of Psychiatrists provides guides to mental health problems that people can face, and is a good source of related information.
Occasionally concerns for patients themselves, or for others, may mean that absolute confidentiality cannot be maintained; these rare situations are explained in the ethical code for psychiatrists ‘Good Psychiatric Practice’.