University of Pittsburgh


Organ System Pathophysiology

Introduction to Psychiatry

May 10, 2018-May 25, 2018
14 half days

Course Director
Jody Glance, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry

Course Description

This course follows the neuroscience course with study of functional manifestation of diseases or altered activity of the brain.

The goals of the course are:

  1. to familiarize students with the most common and important psychiatric illnesses.
  2. to help students prepare for clinical encounters with psychiatrically ill patients by providing a foundation for understanding psychiatric disorders and principles of psychiatric assessment and management.
  3. to foster appreciation for the fact that psychiatric illness is commonly encountered in all medical practice, and early detection and treatment can significantly improve patient outcomes.
  4. to build on material from the preceding neuroscience course in showing how neurobiological factors play out in behavior, and how treatment approaches derive from this understanding.

The 60 faculty are from 6 departments: Epidemiology, Medicine, Neurobiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.

Educational Methods


Lectures Self-study exercises Videotaped patient interviews    
Clinical case conferences Patient write-ups Live patient interviews    


Curricular Themes

Epidemiology; Human development/life cycle; Medical ethics; Medical genetics; Medical jurisprudence; Mental health and mental disorders; Substance abuse; Violence /abuse; Women’s health.


Evaluation for this course is determined as follows:

  • 100% of the final grade is based on an examination. The examination consists of multiple-choice items and a brief write-up of a mental status examination, assessment, and plan based on a patient vignette.
  • Students are required to complete a written mental status examination and to fully participate in all small-group exercises.

Grading: The weighting of the course grade within a block grade is based on the length of the course. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.