Clerkship Survival Guide

Clerkship is tough! The following are some tips on surviving the psychiatry clerkship.

Under Construction!

This section remains a work in progress and under construction!

During your rotation, learning to develop interview skills is key. Depending on the population you are working with, you may need to do a more specialized child and adolescent or geriatric interview.

The way you present your patient's history helps frame a story and diagnosis in the listener's mind. For example, in internal medicine, a patient with diabetes might have their story described as: “This is a 56 year-old man with a history of Type II diabetes, HbA1c of 9.2%, poorly controlled on insulin.” Here is one way to present your patients to keep yourself organized, and your listener focused:

  • Patient name, age, relationship status, children, employment status (and occupation), income assistance/financial status
  • Voluntary vs. involuntary patient
  • Pertinent past psychiatric diagnoses vs no past psychiatric history
  • Chief complaint / Reason for admission
  • Present the psychiatric history as obtained from the interview
  • Present a formulation and plan
Educational Resources