I have finished my psychiatry rotation, and it has by far been the most fun and exciting rotation yet. Coming into medical school, I was dead set on emergency medicine because you have new and exciting challenges with every patient. Psychiatry seems to be very similar in that almost every patient has a different story, yet psychiatry still has continuity of care. Originally I didn't really know whether continuity of care made a difference to me, but I am quickly learning how much I enjoy seeing my patients get better and lead more fulfilling lives.
We also had some exposure to child psychiatry during my rotation, and I thought it was a lot of fun. I've heard from numerous sources that the field has a high burn-out rate, it is just too hard to deal with, etc., but I don't see why. The chance to make an improvement in a child's emotional well-being seems greatly rewarding. Maybe this burn-out rate is partially due to dealing with parents, but if you are going to be dealing with kids in any aspect, you need to be able to handle parents.
I think right now my top two choices in residency are:
1.) Psychiatry with a fellowship in child & adolescents
Looks like I am stuck dealing with parents in either case. :)
Sure the pay isn't as great as other fields and psychiatry isn't the most prestigious specialty around, but I think if I could benefit just 1 child in every 100, I'd be happier in child psychiatry than a lot of other fields.
I would definitely recommend others looking into this exciting field, and feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer them.