Third Year Psychiatry Clerkship

Clerkship Director

Dr. Kirsten Wilkins
203-932-5711 x3955

Associate Clerkship Director

Dr. Andres Barkil-Oteo

Associate Director of Medical Education Administration

Jennifer Dolan-Auten

Clerkship Details

We look forward to having you in the Department of Psychiatry! Our faculty and residents are eager to teach you about psychiatric disorders and to share knowledge as well as unanswered questions we have about the function of the brain. No matter which field of medicine you ultimately choose to pursue, knowledge and skills in psychiatry are critical for your future medical practice.

The third year clerkship is divided into two 3-week clinical components:

The Patients in Crisis component takes place in a setting of acute psychiatric care, such as an inpatient psychiatric unit, intensive outpatient program, or psychiatric emergency room. Under the supervision of faculty and resident physicians, you will learn to perform a competent screening interview including complete mental status examination of a patient in crisis, in order to identify psychiatric symptoms and make a differential diagnosis. You will have the opportunity to plan for further evaluation and tests that would be useful in deciding among various diagnostic possibilities; make recommendations for biological, psychological, and social treatment interventions; assess whether or not dangers to or from a patient exist; and understand indications and procedures for lawful involuntary commitment of a patient to a mental hospital for treatment.

The Psychiatry at the Interface with Medicine component takes place in a setting of acute medical care such as an inpatient medical unit or emergency room. You will learn how psychiatric illness may present in patients with co-morbid medical disorders. Emphasis is placed on screening interviews, including mental status examination; identification of symptoms, with attention to medical and psychiatric symptom overlap as well as to potential medical etiologies of psychiatric symptoms; and differential diagnosis and initial treatment recommendations of patients with co-morbid medical and psychiatric illness. Special emphasis is placed on evaluation of psychiatric emergencies and capacity to make informed medical decisions.

Clinical sites for the clerkship include Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale Child Study Center, and the VA CT Healthcare System. Throughout the six-week clerkship, you will have the opportunity to learn and develop clinical skills through carefully designed one-half day per week outpatient experiences in a variety of settings. At all sites, our enthusiastic and dedicated faculty and residents provide close supervision and clinical instruction, while also fostering an appropriate level of independence in patient care.

In addition to clinical experiences, the third year clerkship includes weekly didactics, comprised of lectures and workshops covering the evaluation, diagnosis, and biopsychosocial management of various psychiatric illnesses. You will also be provided with weekly interview and write-up tutoring by advanced psychiatry residents and faculty.

If you have any questions regarding the third year clerkship, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Dolan-Auten or Dr. Wilkins.