Fourth Year Psychiatry Electives

In the fourth year, we offer many clinical electives. These clinical electives are open to visiting US or international students. Please contact Robert Rohrbaugh, MD, or Jennifer Dolan-Auten for more information.

International students, please email internal.health@yale.edu for the Office of International Medical Student Education.

Psychiatry Electives

Psych 203, Psychiatry Inpatient Elective (CMHC): This elective includes intensive work with inpatients who suffer from major psychiatric disorders with or without substance abuse. Emphasis is on assessment, acute treatment, and arrangement of continuing care in the community. The subintern functions as an integral member of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Clinical research participation is encouraged. Opportunities are available to explore special areas of interest (e.g., forensics, psychopharmacology, administration) with CMHC faculty. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. Open to fourth-year students only. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 206, Law and Psychiatry Elective: This elective affords opportunities for third- and fourth-year students to observe and participate in “competency to stand trial” evaluations with a clinical team that makes these assessments at the New Haven Correctional Center. In addition, they may attend Law School classes with students who represent psychiatric patients, observe civil commitment procedures, and attend probate court hearings as well as the criminal proceedings in local New Haven Superior Courts. Students attend work seminars where case evaluations and write-ups are discussed and prepared, and read appropriate legal cases and psychiatric literature. Students may be able to participate in parts of evaluations of insanity defense, custody determination, and other forensic issues. They attend the Law and Psychiatry seminar during their rotation. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 209, Addiction Psychiatry Elective: An elective clinical training experience in addiction psychiatry for third- and fourth-year students. The primary training site is the Detoxification and Addiction Stabilization Service at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven. Students learn about performing detailed initial evaluations; treating alcohol, opioid, and benzodiazepine withdrawal; initiating medication-assisted treatment; providing opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution, providing smoking cessation treatment, utilizing psychosocial interventions and mutual help, as well as the principles of harm reduction; and addressing psychiatric and medical comorbidities. The rotation includes a discussion of several readings in addiction psychiatry. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 210, Psychiatry Inpatient Elective (YNHH/YPH): This elective includes intensive work with patients who suffer from major psychiatric disorders and range in age from college students to middle age. Emphasis is on assessment, acute treatment, and arrangement of post-discharge follow-up care in the community. The student is an advanced clerk functioning as a member of the multidisciplinary treatment team, taking on primary clinician and psychiatric/medical responsibilities for patients under the supervision of senior clinicians. The elective is given on the inpatient service at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital; clinical research and outpatient involvement may be options. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. Open to fourth-year students only. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 211, Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit Elective: This elective offers senior medical students the opportunity to work closely with a variety of patients who are hospitalized during their participation and treatment in research protocols. The Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU) is a thirteen-bed inpatient ward with associated outpatient clinics and basic science laboratories on the third floor of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). Supervised implementation of novel psychopharmacology, exposure to multiple aspects of clinical and basic science research, and in-depth experience with individual and group psychotherapies are educational aspects of this elective. Patients’ diagnostic categories include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, cocaine abuse, substance abuse, and psychiatric genetics. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. Open to fourth-year students only. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 212, Mood Disorders and Neuromodulation Elective (ECT and TMS): This elective offers senior medical students the opportunity to learn about neuromodulation techniques in the treatment of mood disorders, more specifically, by using electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial stimulation (TMS). Students learn the theoretical basis for the use of ECT and TMS, among other neuromodulation techniques, in the treatment of mood disorders. They learn indications and contraindications to treatment, the process of evaluation of patients prior to and during treatment (including use of standardized depression rating scales), how to monitor for complications and side effects to treatment, and the latest research in the field. Students work closely with psychiatry attending physicians and residents at the VA in the evaluation of patients referred for ECT and TMS, and have the opportunity for supervised participation in the performance of these treatments. Patient population includes veterans of all ages with a variety of psychiatric conditions, including mood disorders with comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 234, Adolescent Psychiatry Elective: The purpose of this elective is to provide fourth-year medical students interested in child and adolescent psychiatry and/or adolescent medicine an experience in working with adolescents presenting with acute psychiatric illness. The elective is based on the adolescent inpatient unit at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, a short-term fifteen-bed unit serving patients aged 12–18. Students gain exposure to a diverse patient population with severe mood, psychotic, behavioral, and/or substance use disorders, as well as begin to understand the intricacies of working with families and systems providing care for adolescents with significant emotional and/or behavioral disturbances. Teaching activities include daily rounds and weekly case conferences. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 238, Early Psychosis Elective (STEP Clinic): STEP (Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis) is a multidisciplinary team-based treatment for individuals presenting early in the course of a psychotic illness. This clinic offers unique opportunities in the assessment and treatment of a population that is difficult to access in other clinical settings. Students have the opportunity to observe structured research assessments and interpretation of these scales in light of careful clinical follow-up. Given the diagnostic and prognostic heterogeneity of illnesses presenting with psychosis, this experience provides the opportunity to develop clinical expertise in diagnosis and management of a range of mental health issues. The enriched treatment includes cognitive-behavioral group therapy, family psycho-education groups, and cognitive remediation in addition to vocational support with a focus on rapidly reintegrating patients back to age-appropriate social, educational, and employment goals. Students have the opportunity to observe or participate in any of these treatments. The multidisciplinary and pluralistic nature of the intervention presents a rich opportunity to participate in collaborative care with other mental health disciplines. Students can also participate in regular seminars sponsored by the STEP and PRIME (Prevention through Risk Identification, Management, and Education) clinics. The latter is a research clinic focused on prodromal psychosis. Site: Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). Scholarship: STEP is designed as a service delivery model with a built-in observational cohort and experimental pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Students are invited to take an active role in the various domains of scholarship including community and clinician education efforts, publication, and learning about clinical research design. This experience must be paired with a main placement at one of the available elective inpatient services. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. Open to fourth-year students only. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 301, Psychiatry Inpatient Subinternship (CMHC): Intensive work with inpatients who suffer from major psychiatric disorders with or without substance abuse and who have significant social challenges often including lack of access to stable housing, work, and health insurance. Emphasis is on assessment, acute treatment, and arrangement of continuing care in the community. The student functions as an integral member of a multidisciplinary treatment team and serves as the primary clinician for four to five patients. The subinternship occurs on the inpatient service (4th floor) of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks, May through October only. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 302, Psychiatry Inpatient Subinternship (YNHH, WS-2): Intensive work with patients who suffer from major psychiatric disorders and range in age from college students to middle age. Most patients have access to health insurance or have Medicare and/or Title XIX. Emphasis is on assessment, acute treatment, and arrangement of post-discharge follow-up care in the community. The student is an advanced clerk functioning as a member of the multidisciplinary treatment team, taking on primary clinician and psychiatric/medical responsibilities for patients under the supervision of senior clinicians. The subinternship occurs on the general adult inpatient service at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Prerequisite: required Psychiatry clerkship. One student every four weeks, May through October only. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh

Psych 325/CHLD 325, Child Study Center Psychiatry Elective: The aim of this elective is to provide the student with an intensive experience in infant, child, and adolescent psychiatry. The curriculum includes assessments of normal development and psychopathology in childhood, treatment methods, and research in major disorders of childhood. Students are active team members of the Children’s Psychiatric Inpatient Service (CPIS) and the consultation service to the pediatric wards of Yale New Haven Hospital and can take advantage of the wide range of ongoing seminars, conferences, and clinical services in place at the Child Study Center. Teaching methods include seminars, conferences, field observations, ward rounds, and practicals selected by the student following consultation with the director of medical studies and the Child Study Center. One student every four weeks. Director: R.M. Rohrbaugh