Clinical Curriculum

3rd Year Clerkship

Our goal with the psychiatry clerkship is to deliver a challenging and enjoyable learning experience that focuses on the development of clinical, interpersonal and professional competence which we believe can only be achieved by students taking an active role. We understand that not all students choose Psychiatry as a career, but we believe that the ability to recognize mental illnesses, and treat or refer patients appropriately, is a crucial skill set for all future physicians to develop. The knowledge, skills and attitudes our students acquire during this rotation will provide a critical foundation for them, no matter what field of medicine they eventually choose.

The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences here at MUSC is a highly regarded department, and our students benefit from the enthusiasm and expertise of our impressive and diverse faculty. Student’s primary assignments allow them to work closely with the attending and resident physicians on a variety of different services. This primary assignment is paired with an ancillary experience, which provides the students an opportunity to work with psychiatrists who specialize in a variety of fields in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Student feedback is vital to the success and growth of our rotation. Our students comments and suggestions help us to improve the rotation on a continuous basis. During our feedback lunch in the last week of the rotation, we host a casual and open discussion regarding the current students' experiences and impressions.

We also hope that our students learn something about themselves over the course of the six week rotation. This clerkship is designed to play an important role in helping MUSC students become excellent physicians.

The course concludes on the last Friday of the rotation with the NBME Shelf Exam. In addition, every student completes an Objective Standardized Clinical Examination and participates in a team based Simulation Center module as part of the 6 week clerkship.

3rd Year Selectives

Selectives offer 3rd year students an opportunity to learn more about a subspeciality or more specific clinical focus than what is typically offered during the 3rd year clerkships.  Selectives are either 1-week or 2-week rotations in areas of the medical student’s choosing.


4th Year Electives

Although less than 5 percent of medical students nationwide become psychiatrists, psychiatric illnesses are seen in almost all disciplines of medicine, and it is important for students to develop skills for diagnosing, treating, and referring patients who have psychiatric illnesses.

The 4th year electives build upon skills first introduced in the 3rd-year psychiatry clerkship and provide students the opportunity to work with psychiatric patients in various settings.