Student Responsibilities

Level of Responsibility of Students

In general, the student will function in a “sub-intern” capacity. The extent of the specific responsibilities may vary from site to site. 

All sites except Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC) will be staffed by residents as well as attending staff. If residents are available, the first patient contacts by the student will be with the resident or staff (i.e., the student may observe the resident or staff interview the patient and then discuss the case and the appropriate evaluation and treatment plan with the resident). Thereafter, the student may continue to function directly under the supervision of the resident, as on other clinical services. However, the student should also be assigned his or her own cases so that they may take primary responsibility for total management of several patients. He or she should write management therapy, drug therapy, and administrative orders under supervision. If residents are not available at teaching sites, the attending staff will assume all such supervision. 

Any mechanical procedure to be done on patients will be done under direct supervision of the resident or attending staff. The student will only be allowed to do procedures unsupervised when staff feels the student is ready. 

Student Learning Activities

PATIENT CARE (80% time)

Each site will have available a variety of patient care opportunities. All students should participate in the evaluation and management of patients with the following diagnoses:

  1. Depressive Disorder (e.g. Major Depression)
  2. Neurocognitive Disorder (e.g. Dementia, Delirium)
  3. Schizophrenic Disorder and related disorders
  4. Bipolar Disorder
  5. Anxiety Disorder (e.g. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Specific Phobia Disorder)
  6. Substance Use Disorder
  7. Personality Disorder

In addition, it is suggested that the student also see patients with the following disorders:

  1. Child or Adolescent Psychiatric problem (if offered)
  2. Trauma-Related Disorder (e.g. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)
  4. Eating disorder
  5. Somatic Symptom Disorder
  6. Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
  7. Cross-cultural Psychiatric problem

Students will complete some psychiatric patient work ups during the clerkship. These will include a complete history, relevant physical exam, and mental status exam as well as a working diagnosis and treatment plan. These reports will be written or dictated and will be reviewed and countersigned by supervisory staff. Each student will observe at least one ECT procedure.

Patient Care Rounds

Patient care rounds will vary according to the teaching site. In general, these will be held with various interdisciplinary team members (psychologist, social worker, nurse, occupational therapist) as well as the supervising staff (attending staff, resident).


The student will present cases to attending staff, residents or other clinical staff both during daily rounds and in didactic settings.


To help provide uniformity in student learning, students will attend a series of lectures covering essential psychiatry topics. 

The student is required to attend all lectures. Lectures will be held for all students on Wednesday afternoons at the UMMC Fairview Riverside site. In addition, other lectures, as determined by the individual site directors, may be offered at the various sites. The student is expected to attend these lectures.

Please note that lectures will not cover all material evaluated on the Shelf Exam. Extra reading and study to augment student knowledge is needed.


Teaching sites may have teaching conferences, such as Grand Rounds, which is attended by the various psychiatric staff at each site. Students are expected to attend, unless otherwise directed by their attending staff.


The student will utilize resources to pursue gaps in knowledge and case report preparation.



Including the following resources to help prepare students for the shelf exam:

  • First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship - an excellent review book for the Shelf/USMLE Step II.
  • Psychiatry PreTest Self-Assessment and Review, another good review for the Shelf.

Independent-Reading for those interested in Psychiatry:

  • The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  • An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Jamison
  • Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by Kay Jamison
  • Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified by Robert Friedel
  • The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
  • The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
  • Falling into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounter with the Mind in Crisis by Christine Montross