Evaluation of Clerkship Students

Students will receive a Pass or Fail grade, along with a narrative statement for their file in the Dean’s office.

Students are evaluated for their clinical work by site supervisors.  As with other clerkships, an important part of the evaluation consists of the narrative comments provided by the residents and attending psychiatrists.  These comments are used by the Dean’s office, usually verbatim, in the body of the Dean’s letter sent with applications for internships and residencies. These may include statements regarding general attitude, level of participation, knowledge and abilities with regard to patient care, and with the team.

Students are expected to report to their clinical sites daily. All absences must be made up and reported (preferably in advance) to the site attending and the clerkship coordinator, Carla Vera at 310-206-5110.

At the completion of the rotation, each student’s performance is evaluated.  The final evaluation is based on:

  1. clinical performance as evaluated by the site supervisor(s),
  2. score on the Psychiatry Shelf Exam (passing is 11 percentile and above),
  3. attendance at all didactic and review sessions
  4. completion of clerkship requirements:
    • Mental Status Examination Demonstration Sheet
    • Complete all four quizzes after reviewing each self-assessment study guide posted on ANGEL
    • Patient logs (PDA)

All components of these modules need to be completed in a timely manner to pass the clerkship.  Late completions will be reflected in the student evaluation.

The written examination (Psychiatry Shelf Examination) will be given the last Monday of the entire 8-week block from 8-10:30 a.m. (check orientation paperwork or on ANGEL for exact location). The exam cannot be taken at the end of the 5 weeks of clinical experience as students will not have completed the full 8 weeks of the integrated didactics. Students must score at or above the 11th percentile for national norms in order to pass the Psychiatry Shelf Exam. If the shelf examination is failed, arrangements must be made with the Student Affairs Office to re-take the Shelf exam. A second failure could result in repeating the clinical rotation. Failure of the clinical portion of the rotation will result in additional clinical work, to be determined on an individual basis. All absences need to be made up before a final grade is assigned.

To obtain a Letter of Distinction in the Psychiatry clerkship a student must:

  • demonstrate to the attending and resident physicians on the clinical units the student’s superlative clinical and interpersonal skills in caring for psychiatric patients and working with the interdisciplinary team
  • demonstrate an excellent understanding of the basic content material of the clerkship on a written examination. 

This means that a student must be nominated by a clinical supervisor, AND score at or above the 80th percentile on the shelf examination to be awarded a Letter of Distinction.