Entry requirements, skills and interests (medical psychotherapy)
This page provides useful information about the entry requirements needed for this specialty up to and including foundation training. It also includes information on the skills and interests you will need.
Before you train as a psychiatrist you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out about getting into medical school.
You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme and then three years of core training. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties which may include psychiatry.
To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.
Skills and interests
Medical psychotherapists need:
- empathy and compassion and the ability to treat others with understanding and respect
- emotional resilience and initiative to work in challenging situations
- a strong interest in different therapies and psychoanalytic theory and practice
- excellent communication skills - to relate well to people from many different backgrounds
- good problem-solving and decision-making skills, using logical/lateral thinking
- the ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team and leadership ability
- patience – progress can sometimes be slow
- self understanding and the willingness to learn by applying some of the principles of their therapeutic approach to their own lives
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.