Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders in humans. The science of the clinical application of psychiatry has been considered a bridge between the social world and those who are mentally ill. Both its research and clinical application are considered interdisciplinary. Because of this, various subspecialties and theoretical approaches exist in psychiatric research and practice. Psychiatrists can be considered physicians who specialize in the doctor-patient relationship utilizing some of medicine's newest classification schemes, diagnostic tools and treatments.
While the medical specialty of psychiatry utilizes research in the field of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, it has generally been considered a middle ground between neurology and psychology. Unlike other physicians and neurologists, psychiatrists specialize in the doctor-patient relationship and are trained in the use of psychotherapy and other therapeutic communication techniques. Psychiatrists can therefore prescribe medication, order laboratory tests, utilize neuroimaging in a clinical setting, and conduct physical examinations.
The Mission of the Department of Psychiatry is to advance the specialty through practice and research, and to educate and train future osteopathic physicians to be competent in the study, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in humans.