As part of the clinical assessment process, psychiatrists may employ a mental status examination; a physical examination; brain imaging such as a computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) scan; and blood testing. Psychiatrists prescribe medicine, and may also use psychotherapy, although the vast majority do medical management and refer to a psychologist or other specialized therapist for weekly to bi-monthly psychotherapy.
The field of psychiatry has many subspecialties (also known as fellowships) that require additional training which are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and require Maintenance of Certification Program (MOC) to continue. These include the following:
Further, other specialties that exist include:
The United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties in the United States offers certification and fellowship program accreditation in the subspecialty 'Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry' (BNNP) - which is open to both neurologists and psychiatrists.
Some psychiatrists specialize in helping certain age groups. Pediatric psychiatry is the area of the profession working with children in addressing psychological problems. Psychiatrists specializing in geriatric psychiatry work with the elderly and are called geriatric psychiatrists or geropsychiatrists. Those who practice psychiatry in the workplace are called occupational psychiatrists in the United States and occupational psychology is the name used for the most similar discipline in the UK. Psychiatrists working in the courtroom and reporting to the judge and jury, in both criminal and civil court cases, are called forensic psychiatrists, who also treat mentally disordered offenders and other patients whose condition is such that they have to be treated in secure units.
Other psychiatrists and mental health professionals in the field of psychiatry may also specialize in psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, psychiatric genetics, neuroimaging, dementia-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sleep medicine, pain medicine, palliative medicine, eating disorders, sexual disorders, women's health, global mental health, early psychosis intervention, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders such as obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The (Consultant psychiatrist) supports treating patients with behavioral health problems. This role can be performed by a team of experts that include mental health specialists (specialists with Ph.D in Neuroscience,Psychiatry and/or Psychology ) who can assist the psychiatrist to relay proper recommendations to the primary care team in treatment planning. The psychiatric consultant may suggest treatment modifications for the primary team to consider, recommend or see the patient for an in-person consultation, and consult patients who are clinically challenging or who need specialty mental health services.