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Psychiatry Clerkship

The Psychiatry Clerkship is a four-week clinical rotation that gives medical students the opportunity to see a broad range of psychiatric illness. Students develop an ability to elicit symptoms and to formulate diagnoses and basic treatment plans. This clerkship is offered at all nine IU School of Medicine campuses in a diverse range of clinical settings, including acute inpatient settings, outpatient clinics, and emergency services.

Training Objectives

Upon completion of the Psychiatry Clerkship, medical students are able to complete the following tasks. These training objectives align with the IU School of Medicine MD Curriculum Competencies and Institutional Learning Objectives. This alignment enables faculty and students to understand how current student learning prepares them for the next stage in training and for their ongoing practice and maintenance of certification.

Learn More

Prospective and current medical students can learn more about the psychiatry clerkship on the Department of Psychiatry MD Education page.

Perform and interpret a relevant, problem-focused history and physical examination on a patient with psychiatric signs and symptoms.

Formulate a differential diagnosis using DSM 5 established diagnosis, including at least three possible diagnostic options and defend a primary choice.

Recognize the psychiatric emergencies of acute psychosis and suicide/homicidal ideation and know basic assessment and treatment options.

Formulate and justify a plausible plan of care for patients presenting psychiatric emergencies of acute psychosis and suicide/homicidal ideation.

Outline a basic plan of treatment specific to the needs of the particular patient with pharmacological and behavioral interventions including basic psychotherapy options and social interventions.

Explain relevant health promotion measures and possible corresponding patient education strategies in the context of each patient’s psychiatric illness.

Formulate and justify a plausible plan of care for patients presenting psychiatric emergencies of acute psychosis and suicidal/homicidal ideation.

Explain the etiology, progression, prognosis and functional deficits commonly seen in patients with psychiatric illness.

Recognize clinical presentations and explain with best known information the underlying pathology and pathophysiology of psychiatric illness and functional deficits commonly seen in psychiatric disorders as defined in DSM 5.

Describe the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or management of common of illnesses and functional deficits commonly seen in psychiatric disorders as defined in DSM 5.

Observe the psychiatric treatment modalities of ECT and chemical dependency treatment.

Analyze and evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic options using principles of evidence-based medicine.

Respond to clinical questions by independently seeking, analyzing and synthesizing evidence-based answers to advance clinical decision-making.

Seek, accept and apply feedback to clinical practice.

Identify the role and contributions of and establish respectful, effective relationships with the various members of the multi-professional health care team.

Identify a patient’s social context and analyze how it relates to their current state of health.

Explain issues of resource utilization as they relate to health care and functional support needs of persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

Demonstrate responsiveness to the whole patient by advocating for the patients’ and teams’ needs over their own and treating patients in a fair, unbiased, nonjudgmental manner.

Demonstrate responsibility for one’s own learning through daily preparation, full participation in learning activities, initiative in patient care, and timely completion of clerkship requirements.

Act in a professional manner by demonstrating compassion, respect, honesty, integrity and punctuality.

Adhere to ethical and legal principles in all interactions.

Communicate effectively with members of the health care team by clearly presenting clinical questions and data from the patient encounter.

Communicate effectively with patients and their families by listening attentively, allowing opportunities for questions, and maintaining appropriate eye contact.

Modify communication style based upon patients’ reactions and ability to understand.

Demonstrate the ability to obtain information and convey treatment options/plans effectively including use of the understanding of the communication style of student and patient.

Define and begin to recognize the capacity and limitations of patients participating in their own health care.

Construct oral presentations or written documents representing an organized, focused, account of the student-patient interaction.