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Psychiatry Clerkship

Clerkship Details

In 2015, Yale School of Medicine consolidated two clerkships for Ambulatory Care Internal Medicine and Psychiatry into one 12-week integrated clerkship entitled the Biopsychosocial Approach to Health (BAH). Joint classroom and clinical activities bring together students to explore distinctions, commonalities, and shared science in the two fields. Our goal is to better equip students to meet the challenges of modern health care in any field they choose.

You will spend 6 of the 12 weeks of the BAH Clerkship in Psychiatry clinical settings. We look forward to having you! 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 psychiatry component of the BAH Clerkship is divided into two clinical components:

  1. The Inpatient Psychiatry component takes place in a setting of acute psychiatric care. 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.
  2. The Consultation-Liaison/Emergency Psychiatry 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.

Psychiatric clinical sites include Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital (York and Chapel Street campuses, Yale Child Study Center, Middlesex Hospital, and the VA CT Healthcare System. Throughout the 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.

For more information about the Integrated Clerkship for Primary Care and Psychiatry, including clerkship syllabus materials, didactic schedule, and clerkship requirements, please visit the integrated clerkship website.

If you have any questions regarding the third year clerkship, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Savercool or Dr. Goldenberg.