Erin Capone, M.D.
Director, Medical Student Education Program
LSUHSC – Medical School/Clinical Education Building
1542 Tulane Avenue, Room 242A
Office 504-568-2539

(Email: ecapon@lsuhsc.edu)

Marcy Punch
Coordinator, Medical Student Education Program
LSUHSC – Medical School/Clinical Education Building
1542 Tulane Avenue, Room 242
Office 504-568-6009

(Email: mpunc1@lsuhsc.edu)

Student Clerkship


Introduction to Psychiatry Clerkship

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.

Link to syllabus 

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 our offices or email Dr. Capone, Clerkship Director, or Marcy Punch, Clerkship Coordinator.

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 Objectives & 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 DSM-V 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:
    • Psychotic Disorders
    • 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.

Primary Site Assignments

New Orleans

University Medical Center (UMC) - Adult Inpatient Unit

Children's Hospital/Calhoun Campus (CHNOLA) - Child inpatient Unit

Behavioral Health Emergency Room at UMC(BHER)

Consult/Liaison Psychiatry at UMC

Baton Rouge

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center


Tyler Mental Health Clinics


Time-Off Requests & Absences

Time off requests must be submitted by email to the Clerkship office PRIOR TO THE START OF THE CLERKSHIP. Non-emergency time off requests after the clerkship has started, may not be granted.

An excused absence is defined as presenting an acceptable reason, in advance of the adsence, only by the involved student, to the office of the Clerkship Director.

An unexcused absence is defined as not being at your assigned location, i.e. hospitals, lectures, TBL's, grand rounds, secondary sites, etc., without prior approval.

(For more details on excused/unexcused absences, please refer to the Psychiatry Clerkship Syllabus)


Final Grade

For all Psychiatry Clerkship students, including those who complete their Psychiatry Clerkship in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Lousiiana, the final grade will consist of:

Shelf: 40%

TBL's: 40% (Individual Quiz - 10%, Group Quiz - 30%)

Clinical Skills Evaluation: 10%

Attendance: 10%


Final Grade Scale

Honors           90 and up

High Pass      80-89

Pass               60-79

Fail                 59 <

NOTE: You must pass the shelf exam in order to pass the course.


4th Year Students

The Psychiatry Department also offers 4th year medical student rotations.

In the Secondary Acting INternship at the UMC Adult Inpatient Units, the student is expected to function as an intern with direct supervision by house officers and attending physicians. This rotation is reserved for students with an interest in psychiatry during senior blocks 1-6, and is open to other students during blocks 7-11.

4th year medical students can also pursue psychiatry elective rotations in varius psychiatric subspecialties (Emergency Psychiatry, Consult-Liaison Psychiatry, Addictions Psychiatry, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry)

The complete list of 4th year medical student course offerings can be found in the senior handbook located at the LSU School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs Website 

See full descriptions of current Senior Psychiatry Courses

Preclinical Psychiatry 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.