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Instructional Format

The three methods employed to achieve the educational objectives of the Clinical Clerkship in Psychiatry are:

  1. Clinical Experience
  2. Psychiatric Specialty Experience
  3. Didactic Learning

1. Clinical Psychiatry Experience

Inpatient Experience
Palmetto Health
South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Students follow up to 4 patients at any one time under close supervision by an attending and/or psychiatry resident. Students write daily progress notes and participate in the treatment course and discharge planning on his/her patients.

Students have one or more scheduled supervisory meetings with his/her attending(s) and/or resident(s) each week to discuss patient management and other appropriate issues.

2. Outpatient & Subspecialty Experiences

During consultation/liaison psychiatry students gain in-depth clinical knowledge of three illnesses relevant to virtually any physician engaged in active patient care: (1) Depression, (2) Substance Use, and (3) Delirium. Students learn the basic process of acquiring clinical information from collateral sources, laboratory testing, and clinical interview to formulate an initial differential diagnosis in a consultation/liaison setting. Students also have an opportunity to observe experienced faculty in clinical interviews and case formulation within consultation/liaison psychiatry.

University Specialty Clinics
Students rotate through the University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic. During this experience, they observe and participate in the evaluation of referred children and adolescents, and their treatment with various therapeutic modalities.

Palmetto Health Richland Emergency Department (ED)
Students participate in the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric patients in the ED setting. A multidisciplinary team-based approach incorporating the student provides knowledge about the systems involved in caring for psychiatric patients of the Columbia area and surrounding communities.

Department of Juvenile Justice
Students observe and participate in the psychiatric evaluation and treatment of juvenile offenders. This experience is a part of the Child and Adolescent psychiatry rotation.

Palmetto Health Trauma Services
Under the clinical supervision of an attending psychiatrist, students participate in consultative evaluation and management of patients with psychiatric co-occurring illnesses on an in-patient trauma-surgery service.

Department of Mental Health Forensic
Forensic Inpatient services are located in GEO’s Columbia Regional Care Center located on the Crafts Farrow Campus. Under the direct clinical supervision of an attending psychiatrist, students participate in the evaluation and management of patients with psychiatric illnesses in the forensic setting.

3. Didactic Learning Experience

This is a structured format to ensure that all students on the clinical clerkship cover a consistent group of core topic areas.

  1. Orientation: The clerkship orientation occurs in the morning of the first day of the clinical clerkship. The student reports to the first clinical assignment the following day.
  2. Tutorial: Each student is assigned a tutor who meets with the student during the rotation.
  3. Psychiatric Issues/Case Conference Forum: Didactic sessions and online modules discuss current issues that are pertinent to the practice of psychiatry. Topics include: substance use disorders, psychopharmacology, forensic psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, eating disorders, Women’s Mental Health, biopsychosocial formulation, and psychiatric diagnostic case conferences.
  4. Differential Diagnosis/Treatment Issues Case Conference: Students review psychiatric cases for discussion. Conferences focus on differential diagnoses and treatment issues, as they would relate to primary care.