Course overview


The Psychiatry Clerkship is integrated within the 8-week, full-time Psychiatry and Neurology Clerkship to enhance students’ understanding of the interplay between brain and behavior, and to introduce current clinical applications of modern neuroscience. The goal of the psychiatric portion of this clerkship is to provide students with the psychiatric knowledge essential for the general practice of medicine.

The course objectives will be achieved by having students meet these course requirements:

  1. Perform clinical interviews and mental status examinations with at least 10 psychiatric patients to complete curricular experience with all fourteen core diagnostic criteria and enter into your PDA patient log.
  2. Present in written and oral form the results of clinical interviews of these patients.**
  3. Attend and participate in multidisciplinary treatment planning meetings.
  4. Observe diagnostic interviews and psychiatric interventions by psychiatric residents and attending psychiatrists.
  5. Attend Psychiatric Grand Rounds presentations.
  6. Attend all and participate in lectures and review session as part of didactics scheduled on Monday afternoons. 
  7. Read and discuss appropriate portions of the recommended texts as well as pertinent journal articles.
  8. Participate in mid-rotation evaluation and feedback regarding areas of strength and weaknesses to be improved. 

** Students will be observed conducting a psychiatric history and mental status exam and given feedback on this observation by an attending psychiatrist on the psychiatry clerkship.  This evaluation must occur and be documented on the UCLA Psychiatry Clerkship Observation Sheet and returned to the student coordinator (Carla Vera, #C8-238) by mid-point of the clerkship to receive clerkship credit.  These check sheets can be turned in when on the UCLA campus on Monday afternoons either directly to Carla or placed in the drop-box next to her office (sheet in orientation packets).

Recognize the signs and symptoms of clinically significant depression, anxiety, delirium, dementia, personality disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders, and psychiatric emergencies.
Know the diagnostic criteria and effective interventions for adjustment, depression, anxiety, somatization, personality, psychotic, eating, childhood developmental disorders (including learning disorders, mental retardation, and autistic spectrum disorders), attention deficit hyperactivity and substance abuse disorders.
Know the diagnostic criteria and effective interventions for delirium and dementia.
Perform and interpret a mental status exam and clinical interview with a psychiatrically complex patient.
Present the results of a comprehensive psychiatric history and evaluation orally and in writing.
Work in a multidisciplinary team with good, professional interactions.



Evaluation of students:

  1. Observation of student’s clinical interviews.
  2. Written tests of student’s knowledge.
  3. Observation of student’s work with the team.
  4. Evaluation of student’s written reports and oral presentations.
  5. Feedback from members of the team working with the student to the supervising faculty.

Evaluation by Students: Students will be asked to evaluate all components of the Psychiatry Clerkship.  Evaluations of clinical supervisors, mental status exam tutors, and the overall clerkship will be done using the Web at the completion of the clerkship.  Lecturers are evaluated on site with teaching evaluations that are provided next to sign-in sheet.