Psychiatry Rotation

Arnold Winston, MD, Interim Chair

The purpose of the rotation is to convey psychiatric concepts, attitudes, and skills that are needed by all students, regardless of their future career plans. By the conclusion of the rotation, students should be able to elicit, organize, and present a full psychiatric history, perform a mental status examination and a differential diagnosis, and suggest methods of treatment. Students will have improved their ability to establish a physician-patient relationship and will have acquired knowledge of psychological factors in physical illness.

Students will demonstrate improved interviewing skills and know the major indications, uses, and side effects of commonly used psychotropic drugs. They will become familiar with the major psychiatric syndromes in children and adolescents, as well as with the effects on the child/adolescent/family of the life-disrupting syndromes of child abuse and substance abuse. Students will learn detection and treatment of these syndromes, as well as how to evaluate and manage psychiatric emergencies. The goal is for students to feel more comfortable with psychiatric patients, and, ultimately, possess an understanding of biological, psychological, and social determinant behavior. Students must fully work up at least one patient a week. The history and mental status examination are presented to the preceptor and the case is discussed. Students must follow each patient’s progress throughout the duration of the rotation. Students must attend ward rounds and outpatient sessions.

Attendance will be expected at case conferences and seminars. Special experiences are recommended. These include attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and visits to local mental health facilities, county, and/or state hospitals, addiction programs, and any other special programs in the vicinity of the hospital. Observation and  participation in group therapy, pre-discharge, and postdischarge group management are required.