Psychiatry Clerkship

Clerkship Director

Susan Samuels, M.D.

Associate Clerkship Director

Dimitry Francois, M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator

Rebecca Hellman

Clerkship Staff Assistant, Westchester

JoAnne Ciallella

Course Description

The psychiatry clerkship is a six-week course taken in the third or fourth year. Students are assigned to an in-patient, outpatient or consultation liaison service at the Payne Whitney Clinic Manhattan or Westchester campuses.

Course Goals
  1. A fundamental understanding of psychiatry as a medical specialty.
  2. A basic working knowledge of psychopathology, psychiatric emergencies, and treatments.
  3. The ability to perform a competent basic psychiatric diagnostic interview.
  4. The ability to formulate a psychiatric differential diagnosis, problem list, and initial treatment plan.
  5. A current view of psychiatric practice.
Specific course learning objectives can be found by clicking on the link on the upper right.

Student Responsibilities
  1. Clinical involvement: This is a "hands on" clerkship. Students are integral members of the treatment team, and admit, workup and follow patients. They develop a professional rapport with their patients, and know their histories and mental statuses well and, under appropriate supervision, become directly involved in their patients' care. They have the opportunity to develop skills in differential diagnosis and treatment planning.

  2. An academic approach: In addition to the required textbook, students are expected to research the current medical literature about their patients' specific problems and to apply what they learn to their cases.

Didactic Sessions

Students attend a series of small group tutorials and seminars designed specifically for them. Faculty preceptors teach interviewing and history taking, mental status examination and how to write up and present cases. Additional sessions cover psychiatric differential diagnosis and treatment of the major disorders. In addition, with the house staff, they attend teaching rounds, Professor Rounds, Case Conferences, Grand Rounds, and house staff teaching conferences.

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