University of Pittsburgh
Combined Clinical Years

Psychiatry Clerkship (PC)

5 weeksJason Rosenstock, MD

Clerkship Director
Jason Rosenstock, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry


Course Description

The Psychiatry Clerkship is a five-week experience that mixes inpatient, ambulatory exposure to provide a broad view of behavioral health care. Students attend a neuropathology workshop and an AA/NA meeting. Students have the option of attending neurosurgery operating-room sessions and the psychiatric emergency room overnight. Integrated teaching sessions consist of psychiatry core material as supported by evidence-based medicine, involving topics that highlight clinical conditions common to these areas of medicine. Students also participate in formative standardized patient encounters, to develop higher-level skills in psychiatric assessment and patient management.

The objectives of the course are that students should become able to:

  1. describe the presentations, course, and treatment of common neuropsychiatric disorders.
  2. improve clinical skills by being observed by a faculty member while performing a history (focused or complete), neurological exam (focused or complete), and a psychiatric assessment (including mental status examination).
  3. establish rapport and a therapeutic alliance with patients/families.
  4. recommend, implement, and assess the benefits of common/important biopsychosocial treatments for specific disorders.


Educational Methods

Inpatient patient-care activities Ambulatory patient-care activities Workshops    
Structured readings Standardized patient encounters Lectures    


The Psychiatry Clerkship grading system is comprised of four components: Core Clinical Experience (50% of Final Grade), reflective statement (10%), performance based video exam (10%), and the National Board of Medical Examiners web-based subject exam (30%).

There is no minimum passing score on the reflective statement. Each of the
other three components however MUST be passed with a minimum of 60% of the total
points for that component in order to pass the Psychiatry Clerkship.

The clerkship is graded Honors, High Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Low Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director Jason Rosenstock, MD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award, the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education, and the Excellence in Education Award for Course Director. Crystal White, MD is a recipient of the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. In addition, Dr. Rosenstock is a member of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators and is the current chair of the UPSOM Curriculum Committee.