MS-3: Psychiatry Clerkship (PSC)

4 weeks

Clerkship Director
Ryan Peterson, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry

Course Description

The Psychiatry Clerkship is a four-week experience centered on inpatient and partial hospital behavioral health care. Students take responsibility for the care of individual patients, under supervision, learning both assessment and management skills for common and important behavioral health conditions.

Students participate in classroom-based didactics, reflective writing, and group therapy. Students also participate in formative standardized patient encounters.

Course Objectives

  1. Describe the presentations, course, and treatment of common psychiatric 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
  • Structured readings
  • Reflective writing
  • Standardized patient encounters
  • Workshops
  • 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% for the core clinical experience, 68% in the SHELF, and 68% in the mental status assignment 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.