A day as a psychiatrist

You're based in the mental health unit at your local NHS hospital, and start work at 9am. Your first task is to meet with a 25-year-old man, who may need to be referred to a psychiatric hospital for 24-hour observation and care. He is a very aggressive and challenging patient, with suicidal tendencies. After your assessment, you both agree full-time psychiatric hospital care would be beneficial, and arrange a bed for him. The rest of the day is spent running the department - answering queries, directing staff and assessing patients. You have a lot of responsibility, but your job and the patients you see are incredibly varied, and you really make a difference to the community.

Does this sound like you?

You're open-minded, and willing to adapt to new ideas. You're a good leader, but can also work within a team and enjoy learning from others.

What's next after GCSE?

You're likely to need around nine high grade 9-6 (A*-B) GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including science subjects, and be all set to take three A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need to apply for a degree in medicine at university. Getting three good A level grades (or equivalent level 3 qualification) is vital if you're applying for medicine, as this is a very competitive area. It's important to check different university entry requirements as these vary between institutions. After university, you'll need to do further general and specialist training to work as a psychiatrist. There are different areas of psychiatry too - such as forensic or old-age psychiatry - so it's worth exploring the options.