Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have after 7 years basic medical training, undergone 5-7 years, of specialised training in the fields of mental ill health. Some are generalists and some more specialised in adult, adolescent, child or geriatric care. They take a medical approach to illness with some emphasis upon biological approaches.

They use to a greater or lesser extent a mix of talking therapy and medication. Generally psychiatrists treat the more serious illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders in adults and behavioural disorders and ADHD in children and adolescents.

Psychiatrists are all members of the Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and are bound by the ethics of that body. They have a right to prescribe medication.