Psychiatry Electives

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

In addition to the required clerkship, the Department of Psychiatry offers several elective opportunities to medical students who wish to gain a more comprehensive understanding of psychiatric care in various clinical settings.


PSY300 - Inpatient Psychiatry

Clinical experience with varied psychiatric and mixed medical-psychiatric syndromes on the HUP Psychiatric Inpatient Service and Psychiatric Emergency Evaluation Center. Supervised treatment of selected patients is carried out by students, using individual and group psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, milieu therapy, and somatic therapy. Emphasis is placed on a practical approach which can be used in all fields of medicine.

PSY300B - Inpatient Psychiatry at the Veterans Administration Medical Center

This course is designed to have an advanced medical student function at the level of a psychiatric intern with respect to his/her patient's care. Students will cover 4-6 patients on the inpatient general psychiatry unit and shall have close attending supervision. The student will be responsible for the initial history and physical assessment, differential diagnosis, and comprehensive treatment plan. Involvement with individual therapy, family meetings, and group therapy is offered. The extern will have the opportunity to present a patient in depth, exploring psychodynamic principles and formulations to a faculty expert. Participation in the resident's ongoing didactic seminars is expected.

PSY300D - Inpatient Psychiatry at Pennsylvania Hospital

The course is designed to provide competence in evaluating the history, psychological status, differential diagnoses and treatment of psychiatric patients with major psychiatric illnesses and with medical-psychiatric problems. The student's primary experience will be on a short-term Community Mental Health and Medical-Psychiatric inpatient unit. Each student will be responsible for closely following 2-4 selected inpatients along with either a resident or an attending. Each student will receive extensive supervision by senior attendings and other staff in developing therapeutic skills and in conducting individual, group, and family evaluations. Students will participate with the resident in ongoing teaching seminars and case conferences.

PSY300E - Inpatient Psychiatry at Presbyterian Hospital

During the course of the elective, students will develop the ability to hone diagnostic and treatment skills under the direct supervision of an attending psychiatrist. Primary clinical responsibilities will be on the inpatient acute psychiatric service, where students will become familiar the management of patients with substance abuse, mood, psychotic and personality disorders, as well as the medical complications that occur in these patient populations.

Students will also have extensive opportunity to participate in the evaluation and treatment of patients on medical and surgical floors who require psychiatric consultation for any of the disorders above, as well as in patients with delirium and dementia. At the conclusion of the elective, students will have achieved greater confidence and competence in caring for patients in both psychiatric and general medical settings.

PSY303 - Child, Adolescent, Family

This clinical experience has been designed to provide a broad exposure to the evaluation and treatments of the psychiatric and psychosocial conditions that affect children, adolescents and families. The student will participate in the evaluations and treatments of children and adolescents in a variety of clinical settings at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and its Behavioral Health Center. Settings include the inpatient pediatric consultation service at CHOP, outpatient child, adolescent and family assessments at the behavioral health center including the general assessment clinic, ADHD clinic and mood and anxiety disorders program. Experiences in the community are available. Students will have a broad exposure to the pathologies affecting children and adolescents. Responsibilities for the student will vary according to level of training.

PSY305 - Addiction/Alchoholism

Clinical experience in evaluation and treatment of substance abuse, including alcohol and other drugs, in multimodal treatment programs with multidisciplinary staff. Students will work under supervision with selected patients from intake and detoxification stages to ongoing treatment in outpatient and inpatient settings at the VAMC, Penn Treatment Research Center and other locations. The various treatment approaches include drug-free day hospital for cocaine and alcohol patients, methadone maintenance for opiate addicts, narcotic antagonists, family therapy, and individual as well as group therapy. Students also attend clinical and in-service training conferences, administrative and research meetings. They may also participate in a variety of research projects on pharmacology of psychoactive drugs and physiological changes associated with drug use.

PSY307 - Community Psychiatry

Claudia Baldassano, MD
Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry 
Perelman School of Medicine 
University of Pennsylvania 
Phone: 215-668-5913 

Coordinator: Domenic Mangino
3535 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 
Phone: 215-746-2407

PSY 311A - Consult Psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

The focus of this course is on the application of psychiatric interventions directed at patients who are in a general medical-surgical hospital. Students participate in psychiatric consultations requested on patients in the hospital and in various psychiatric liaison services to the MICU, SICU, renal dialysis-transplantation service, and the Cancer Center. Emphasis is placed on students developing the ability to diagnose psychiatric disorders presenting in a general medical/surgical population and on the normal range of psychological responses to the stress of illness. Students are exposed to various treatment modalities that can be applied in a non-psychiatric setting. This is accompanied by student participation in consultations and liaison activities as described above in addition to selected reading and didactic seminars designed to cover appropriate material.

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