While requirements to become a psychiatrist differ from country to country, all require a medical degree.
US and Canada
In the U.S. and Canada one must first attain the degree of M.D. or D.O., followed by practice as a psychiatric resident for another four years. This extended period involves comprehensive training in psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, medical care issues, and psychotherapies. All accredited psychiatry residencies in the United States require proficiency in cognitive-behavioral, brief, psychodynamic, and supportive psychotherapies. Psychiatry residents are required to complete at least four post-graduate months of internal medicine or pediatrics, plus a minimum of two months of neurology during their first year of residency, referred to as an "internship". After completing their training, psychiatrists are eligible to take a specialty board examination to become board-certified. The total amount of time required to complete educational and training requirements in the field of psychiatry in the United States is twelve years after high school. Subspecialists in child and adolescent psychiatry are required to complete a two-year fellowship program, the first year of which can run concurrently with the fourth year of the general psychiatry residency program. This adds one to two years of training.
In the United Kingdom, psychiatrists must hold a medical degree. These degrees are often abbreviated MB BChir, MB BCh, MB ChB, BM BS, or MB BS. Following this, the individual will work as a Foundation House Officer for two additional years in the UK, or one year as Intern in the Republic of Ireland to achieve registration as a basic medical practitioner. Training in psychiatry can then begin and it is taken in two parts: three years of Basic Specialist Training culminating in the MRCPsych exam followed by three years of Higher Specialist Training referred to as "ST4-6" in the UK and "Senior Registrar Training" in the Republic of Ireland. Candidates with MRCPsych degree and complete basic training must reinterview for higher specialist training. At this stage, the development of special interests such as forensic, child/adolescent takes place. At the end of 3 years of higher specialist training, candidates are awarded a CCT or CCST, both meaning Certificate of Completion of Training. At this stage, the psychiatrist can register as a specialist, and the qualification of CCT is recognized in all EU/EEA states. As such, training in the UK and Ireland is considerably longer than in the US or Canada and frequently takes around 8–9 years following graduation from medical school. Those with a CCT will be able to apply for Consultant posts. Those with training from outside the EU/EEA should consult local/native medical boards to review their qualifications and eligibility for equivalence recognition.
In the Netherlands, one must complete medical school after which one is certified as a medical doctor. After a strict selection program, one can specialize in psychiatry: a 4.5-year specialization. During this specialization, the resident has to do a 6-month residency in the field of social psychiatry, a 12-month residency in a field of their own choice. To become an adolescent psychiatrist, one has to do an extra specialization period of 2 more years. In short, this means that it takes at least 10.5 years of study to become a psychiatrist which can go up to 12.5 years if one becomes a children's and adolescent psychiatrist.
In India, an MBBS degree is the basic qualification needed to do Psychiatry. After completing MBBS one can attend various PG Medical Entrance Exams and take MD in psychiatry which is a 3-year course. Diploma Course in Psychiatry or DNB Psychiatry can also be taken to become a Psychiatrist.
In Pakistan, one must complete basic medical education, an MBBS, then get registered with Pakistan Medical and Dental Council as a General Practitioner after a one-year mandatory internship, House Job. After registration with PMDC, one has to go for FCPS-I exam, after that four-year training in under College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. Training includes rotations in General Medicine, Neurology, and Clinical Psychology for 3 months each, during first two years. There is a mid-exam IMM and a final exam after 4 years.