LSUHSC School of Medicine Psychiatry | Student Clerkship
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Mark H. Townsend, MD
Medical Student Clerkship Director
Vice Chairman Department of Psychiatry
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
(Email: mtowns@lsuhsc.edu)

Erina Rivarde

Medical Student Coordinator:
Erina B. P. Rivarde
Lion’s Building, 7th Floor, Suite C, Room 764
Office 568-6009
(Email: Erivar@lsuhsc.edu)

Introduction to Psychiatry Clerkship
LSU Health Sciences Center

In order to make this a beneficial learning experience, this syllabus has been prepared outlining the clerkship learning objectives, course material, evaluations and grading procedures, special duties and performance criteria.

The Psychiatry Clerkship at LSU Health Sciences Center is a 6-week, full-time rotation for third-year medical students.  The objective of the clerkship is to provide a broad view of clinical psychiatry enabling student to participate in a variety of patient care settings.  Because of logistical considerations, the clinical experience of students varies depending on clinical placement.

The Department of Psychiatry is dedicated to providing a worthwhile experience in psychiatry to Louisiana State University medical students.  We encourage all of you to participate actively in the clerkship.  The faculty and staff of the department are interested in you and welcome your feedback.  If at any time during the rotation you have a problem or concern, please don’t hesitate to call my office.

NOTE:  EMAIL is the primary means of notification of changes in the schedule.  Students are responsible for checking email on a daily basis.

Psychiatry Clerkship Core Competencies

  • Students will be able to elicit and record a complete physical examination, psychiatric history, and mental status examination.
  • Students will be able to conduct patient interviews in a manner that facilitates information gathering of a therapeutic alliance, i.e. demonstrate respect, empathy, responsiveness, and concern regardless of the patient’s problems or personal characteristics and be able to use basic strategies for interviewing disorganized, hostile/resistant, mistrustful, circumstantial/hyperverbal, hypoverbal, and potentially assaultive patients.
  • Students will be able to assess for the presence of general medical illness in psychiatric patients and determine the extent to which a medical/surgical illness contributes to a patient’s psychiatric problem.
  • Students will be familiar with psychiatric terminology and be able to use the five axes of the DSM-IV in evaluating patients.
  • Students will be able to use laboratory testing, imaging tests, psychological tests, and consultation appropriately to assist in diagnosing of the patient with neuropsychiatric symptoms.
  • Students will be able to evaluate and begin management of psychiatric emergencies.
  • Students will be able to perform a mini mental status of cognitive functioning and recognize the psychiatric manifestations of organic brain diseases.
  • Students will be familiar with the hypotheses regarding etiology, the epidemiologic features, the common signs and symptoms, the DSM-IV criteria, the differential diagnosis for the following groups of disorders and be able to formulate a biopsychosocial treatment plan for each:
    • Schizophrenia
    • Mood Disorders
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Personality Disorders
    • Addictive Disorders
  • Students will be familiar with basic psychopharmacology, i.e., be able to summarize the indications, basic mechanisms of action, common side effects and drug interactions of the following classes of psychotropic medications:
    • Anxiolytics
    • Antidepressants (and Electroconvulsive Therapy)
    • Antipsychotics
    • Mood Stabilizing Agents
  • Students will understand the principles and techniques of the psychosocial therapies sufficiently to explain to a patient and make a referral when indicated.

Psychiatry & Medicine Course 200

This course is taken in the 2nd year of medical school.  It is designed to provide a basic knowledge of psychiatry and how general medical conditions impact and result from psychopathology.  The course concentrates on the neurobiological causes of psychiatric disorders along with psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment.