ABCs of Mental Health Care

About Care Providers

print What is a Psychiatrist?

These provider descriptions are general in nature and are being made available to help you better understand the various types and levels of behavioral health providers that may be available to provide your care. These general descriptions were prepared using national standards. Please note that provider requirements will vary from state to state, thus, you may want to check with the provider's office if you have any specific questions

This provider is a Medical Doctor whose internship/residencies were specialized in the treatment of mental disorders. They are qualified to prescribe medication as a means to alleviate symptoms. They often work with or supervise mental health professionals who will actually provide the counseling in conjunction with the prescribed medication. Some psychiatrists will do counseling themselves. Specific types of providers in this category are:

Medical Doctor

(MD including Unspecified, Adult, Child and Geriatric Psychiatrists)

  1. Has a Doctor of Medicine degree from an accredited medical school.
  2. Board Certified in psychiatry as defined by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology OR Certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Addiction Medicine.
  3. Licensed to practice medicine in the state where practice is to occur.
  4. Qualified to prescribe medications of all types; specializes in psychoactive drugs.
  5. May conduct psychotherapy of multiple modalities or theoretical frameworks: individual, group, family, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.

Doctor of Osteopathy, DO

(including DO of Psychiatry or DO of an Unspecified Specialty)

  1. Has a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree from an accredited Medical school.
  2. Board Certified in psychiatry as defined by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology OR Certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Addiction Medicine.
  3. Licensed to practice medicine in the state where practice is to occur.
  4. Qualified to prescribe medications of all types; specializes in psychoactive drugs and/or homeopathic remedies.
  5. May prescribe or conduct therapy of multiple modalities or theoretical frameworks: individual, group, family, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior modification, etc.

Addictionologist (AD)

  1. Has a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree from an accredited Medical school.
  2. Certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as an Addictions Specialist.
  3. Licensed to practice medicine in the state where practice is to occur.
  4. Qualified to prescribe medications of all types, particularly expert in medications used for detoxification and relapse prevention
  5. May prescribe or conduct therapy of multiple modalities or theoretical frameworks primarily aimed at education and behavior modification regarding substance abuse and recovery or relapse prevention.
 

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