PURPOSE: In the core psychiatry clerkship, students learn how to understand, diagnose and treat patients with psychiatric disorders. They are trained to conduct diagnostic interviews and perform comprehensive mental status examinations. They learn to work with multidisciplinary teams to provide psychiatric treatment in inpatient, consult/liaison, outpatient and emergency room settings, and to use a biopsychosocial framework to understand psychiatric illness.

COMPETENCIES: In the process of completing this course, students acquire the following competencies: 1) Perform and articulate a comprehensive mental status examination, including psychiatric and neuropsychiatric elements; 2) Conduct psychiatric interviews with a wide variety of patients, demonstrating ability to establish rapport and obtain information pertinent to diagnosis; 3) Identify and collect other clinical data needed to diagnose behavioral disturbances, including relevant laboratory studies and psychological testing; 4) Formulate a comprehensive and accurate differential diagnosis for psychiatric symptoms, using standard diagnostic nomenclature; 5) Use a biopsychosocial framework to describe biological, intrapsychic, familial and sociocultural influences on patients' presenting complaints; 6) Understand the indications for, and basic principles of, commonly used psychiatric treatments, including psychodynamic 7) psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, family therapy, group therapy, pharmacotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy; 8) Recognize psychiatric emergencies and perform basic emergency intervention. 

INSTRUCTIONAL FEATURES: Inpatient psychiatry units, outpatient psychiatry clinics, psychiatry emergency services, child psychiatry clinics, psychiatry consultation/liaison services, and lectures.

Reporting Instructions: All students report to orientation at 1747 W. Roosevelt Road, Room 361, 9:00 AM on the first Monday with Drs. Blitzstein and Fox. Instructions for site reporting will be given at this orientation.

ASSESSMENT:  Clinical evaluation, standardized patient examination, written clerkship examination.


Program Number: CLER 602
Location: Various Sites as Assigned
Program Director: Sean Blitzstein, MD

Coordinator: Liz Walch

Telephone: 312-996-2200
Duration: 6 Weeks
Night Call: Yes
Weekends: Yes, if on call
Students Accepted: 38/clerkship
Housestaff Used as Faculty: Yes
Lectures/Conferences/Faculty: Contact: 6
Laboratory/Independent Study: 
Outpatient: Varies
Inpatient: Varies
Total Hours/Week: 36-40 

Click here for additional contact information.

KEY WORDS: Mental status examination, psychiatric interview, biopsychosocial framework, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, organic mental disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, somatoform disorders, childhood psychiatric disorders.

Click here to link to the Office of Student Affairs Web Site to view the Reporting Instructions for the Psychiatry Clerkships.

Updated:  10/1/14