Psychiatry Clerkship

Clerkship Goals & General Objectives

The overall goal of the Psychiatry Clerkship is the mastery of basic core competencies that are essential for practice as a competent physician, regardless of career focus.

Upon completion of the six-week Psychiatry Clerkship, the student will be able to provide compassionate, effective patient care reflecting the ability to:

  1. Collect an accurate, thorough database in a timely manner and with utmost comfort to the patient. The database should include:
    • a comprehensive psychiatric history and physical examination,
    • the identification of psychosocial stressors,
    • a thorough mental status examination,
    • laboratory testing,
    • psychological testing, when indicated, and
    • a family interview.
  2. Analyze and synthesize data using the biopsychosocial model to generate a relevant differential diagnosis according to DSM-5.
  3. Formulate an initial interdisciplinary treatment plan to include further diagnostic evaluation and patient management strategy.
  4. Discuss diagnosis and treatment with the patient and/or family.


Demonstrate Knowledge

Upon completion of the clerkship the student will demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Signs and symptoms of psychiatric disorders including psychosomatic, organic and substance abuse disorders.
  • Biological and psychological testing available and their indications.
  • Biological, sociological and psychological theories of etiology.
  • Treatment strategies including pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and social interventions.
  • Interdisciplinary team approach to patient care.
  • Criteria for recognition of the suicidal or homicidal patient.


Develop interpersonal & communication skills

Upon completion of the clerkship, the student will demonstrate development in the following areas in relation to interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Clear, respectful communication with patients, family members and health care providers.
  • Use of active listening and empathic, appropriate non-verbal skills in patient interviews.
  • Written documentation of patient encounters that is relevant, organized and legible.
  • Oral presentation of patient encounters that is logical and organized.
  • Establishment of an effective physician/patient relationship.


Commitment to professionalism

The student will demonstrate a commitment to professionalism through the development of a set of attitudes and values that reflect:

  • A doctor/patient relationship built on a basic acceptance of and concern for the patient with a non-judgmental approach.
  • Appropriate behavior and conduct during patient and staff encounters.
  • Appropriate appearance and demeanor.
  • The importance of monitoring one’s own emotional responses to the patient and maintaining objectivity in all professional contacts.
  • The need for reliability, responsibility and confidentiality as it relates to all patient contacts and duties.
  • A commitment to ethical principles as they relate to patient care.
  • An awareness of one’s own strengths and limitations and a willingness to incorporate constructive feedback into practice.


Continual Assessment & Evaluation

Upon completion of the clerkship, the student will demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the importance of continual assessment and evaluation of patient care practices as evidenced by:

  • The use of information technology to further educate and alter patient care practices.
  • Knowledge of the design, methods and evidence used in scientific studies.
  • The use of critically analyzed, population-based evidence to improve patient care practices.
  • The development of patterns of self-directed lifelong learning.


Systems issues that impact psychiatric care

Upon completion of the clerkship, the student will demonstrate knowledge of systems issues that impact psychiatric care as evidenced by:

  • An awareness of socioeconomic barriers to care and how to optimize a patient’s access to appropriate treatment.
  • Participation in a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care.
  • Recognition of system complexities and how they affect the delivery of health care.
  • Efforts to provide high quality care at reasonable cost to patients.


Dixie Weisgarber, M.B.A.
Business Manager


Randon S. Welton, M.D.
Phone: 330.325.6691

Department of Psychiatry

College of Medicine at NEOMED