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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Dec 08, 2023
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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%)
  • National Board of Medical Examiners Exam  (30%)

The clerkship is graded Honors, High Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Low Satisfactory, 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. In addition, Dr. Rosenstock is a member of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators and is the current chair of the UPSOM Curriculum Committee.

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