I want to be a forensic psychiatrist. I’m pretty sure I’m destined to become one. “What does a forensic psychiatrist do?” you might ask. Think: Clarice Starling.
[Insert creepy music and Hannibal Lecter’s “fava bean lip quake”]
Forensic psychologists do minor interviews and assessments with people who are in incarcerated, jail mostly, gathering information for criminal lawyers or law enforcement. They might give the detainee a few psychological assessments to gauge whether or not he or she is competent to stand trial, or, if they’re eligible to plead guilty by reason of insanity- which is usually the offender’s last ditch effort at getting out of prison.
But a forensic psychiatrist, on the other hand, sometimes administers the polygraph (and interprets it) and also spends his or her time at places like Leavenworth or Sing Sing, hanging out with the big boys (like Hannibal Lecter). The main difference between a forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist is that the forensic psychologist obtains either a PhD (academic/research-based) or a PsyD (clinical/experience-based) while the forensic psychiatrist will receive the M.D. as he or she will have gone to medical school rather than just “college”. Also, a forensic psychiatrist is able to prescribe medications- a forensic psychologist is not.
I would quite literally need to go to med school for 4 years if I want to entertain the idea of becoming a forensic psychiatrist (and that’s after getting my B.S. in psychology.) And you can’t even get into med school until you’ve finished all of your prerequisites, which include: one semester of Biochemistry, one full year of General Chemistry w/ labs, one full year of Organic Chemistry w/ labs, one full year of Physics w/ labs, and one full year of Biology w/ labs and again, these are just the prereqs!
I think I might give it a shot. If I utterly fail, I can always go with the alternative: forensic psychology. School begins in 6 weeks and I cannot wait.
Still, I’m enjoying my vacation (finally!) and am allowing myself some much needed down time (without feeling guilty). The new toys help. 🙂
Bistro set for the back deck