Goals & Objectives

  • Learn to diagnose and manage a broad range of mental illnesses.
  • Acquire interview skills necessary to successfully engage patients in discussions concerning psychosis, mood symptoms, anxiety, suicidality, and drug/alcohol abuse.
  • Learn to orally present succinct mental health assessments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess decisional capacity and develop an appreciation of how capacity issues impact decision making in medicine and psychiatry.
  • Master the ability work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary mental health team.

Diagnose and manage a broad range psychiatric illnesses.

Curriculum: Students will participate in daily inpatient or outpatient rounds with their treatment team providing a broad exposure to mental illness. In addition, all the major psychiatric illnesses are covered in on-line clerkship materials and readings, and include: child psychiatry, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance-related disorders, cognitive disorders and personality disorders. What constitutes a patient exposure includes directly observing an interview of a patient; interviewing a patient, and/or completing an on-line case.

Benchmark: Students will be expected to assess and follow psychiatric patients and discuss their treatment needs with their attending and team. Key features of psychiatric illness will be taught during the didactics and can be found on the website. In addition, at least 6 on-line cases in the following illness categories need to be completed: psychotic disorder, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, substance-related disorder, cognitive disorder, and personality disorder.

Test: Your overall understanding of mental illness is assessed daily when you interact with your attending and treatment team. All students will receive mid-clerkship and end-of-clerkship feedback summarizing their performance and are evaluated by their preceptors (both attendings and residents).  6 on-line cases are required and completion of the “Psychiatry Clerkship Experience Log.”

Demonstrate the ability to engage patients in a discussion of their mental health needs. 

Curriculum: Students will participate in daily inpatient or outpatient assessments with their treatment team providing a routine opportunity to develop interview skills while being observed by their attending preceptor and/or other team members.

Benchmark: Complete the CEX for psychiatry which is an observed interview of a patient and receive feedback regarding this interaction.

Test: This assessment/interaction will be evaluated via the CEX and needs to be repeated until a passing score is achieved.

Conduct a biopsychosocial assessment. 

Curriculum The psychiatric exam and biopsychosocial formulation will be taught by residents, physician assistants, attendings and preceptors in the hospital and clinic settings.

Benchmark: You will present two full psychiatric case presentations (OCPs) to your attending.

Test: Oral presentations will be evaluated using the “Oral Presentations – Evaluation Form”.

Describe the major indications and side effects of somatic therapies in psychiatry including ECT.

Curriculum: The major psychiatric pharmacologic categories, examples within each group, prominent side effects and indications for use are taught during the clerkship through the web-based cases, during rounds and in formal didactics.

Benchmark: Key features of each will be taught during the didactics and can be found on the website.

Test: Your knowledge is assessed on a daily basis via the interactions with preceptors. In addition, psychiatry uses the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject test as a final exam and this covers a considerable scope of somatic and non-pharmacologic treatments.

Describe how to assess decisional capacity and discuss its impact on treatment in medicine and mental health.

Curriculum: Knowing how to evaluate decisional capacity is essential for all medical providers. Didactic material is available on the clerkship website.

Benchmark: Discuss one case where decisional capacity has been evaluated or come into question with your attending physician.

Test: Completion of this discussion and understanding of decisional capacity should be documented in the “Psychiatry Clerkship Experience Log.”

Discuss a psychiatric bioethical issue encountered during the clerkship.

Curriculum: Bioethical issues arise frequently in psychiatry. You are required to identify, observe and reflect on at least one bioethical clinical scenario during the clerkship.

Benchmark: Have exposure to at least one patient in which a bioethical issue is raised either in the clinical setting or through a web-based case.

Test: Complete the reflection on either the space provided on the “Psychiatry Clerkship Experience Form” or on a bioethics case completed on the website.

Work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team. 

Curriculum: Students will participate in daily inpatient or outpatient rounds and coordinate care for their patients. They should expect to initiate consults, contact other mental health providers, gather collateral from family members and generally interact with social workers, case managers and providers from all disciplines.

Benchmark: Students will be routinely asked to update the treatment team regarding the care of their patients and will act as the primary provider for the patients they are following.

Test: The ability to work professionally with patients, family and staff, contributes greatly to mid-clerkship and end-of-clerkship feedback provided to the student. Mid-clerkship feedback provides the student with opportunity for improvement and students can specifically ask about team interactions.

Policy Statement
All students must pass and complete the academic course and credit requirements as approved for their entering class in order to graduate.