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3rd Year Clerkship Overview

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.


Didactics are an integral part of the clerkship and are comprised of an average of 20 contact hours, including case conferences and lectures, which cover the following topics:

  • Child & Adolescent Disorders
  • Depression
  • Forensics
  • Geriatrics
  • Inpatient Case Conference
  • Interventional Psychiatry
  • Managing Challenging Patients
  • Mental Status Exam
  • Mood Disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quadrant Lecture/Psychiatry Interview
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance Abuse