Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Service

On the Adult Inpatient Service, you will have the chance to learn about severe mental disorders. As on all of your rotations, your first responsibility is to learn as much as possible. Our expectations of you are as follows.
First, you will be responsible, along with your residents, for following several patients and presenting them on rounds. We expect you be as involved with your patients as possible, familiar with everything from the laboratory data to the psychological forces that make up character. Although we want you to be fully involved, you are not expected to do things alone that you are not yet comfortable with; a resident is always available to attend a family meeting, help conduct a conversation with a patient, review a consultation, etc. In addition, you can often learn from our experienced psychiatric nurses and social workers. In your presentations on rounds, it is important that you have the information organized in a problem-oriented manner, and even more important that you and your resident have thought through your own views on the interpretation of the data and the actions necessary. You should approach attending rounds having thought about what help you need from the attending, not simply waiting to be told what to do.
Second, sometimes the personal relationship you form with the patient will be of substantial importance in the patient’s care. This is a distinctive feature of psychiatry, and we note and value this contribution by students. You should take the opportunity to think and talk about the nature of the doctor-patient relationship, as learning about this is something you can take from your psychiatry clerkship into whatever field of medicine you pursue.
Third, you will have the opportunity to watch an experienced attending psychiatrist interview and think aloud about many patients. For most of you, this will be the last time in your careers that you see a psychiatrist at work, and you should take advantage of the opportunity to learn how psychiatrists think and what they do.
Fourth, you are expected to read as much as possible during the rotation. As in other clerkships, the reading will be most accessible and memorable when it relates directly to the understanding and care of your patients. However, another distinctive feature of psychiatry is the opportunity for contact across disciplines, so you may want to supplement your clinical reading by exploring the relevant neuroscientific data, or the social and legal issues raised by the psychiatric illnesses you are seeing, or many other fertile fields of thought. This sort of intellectual adventurousness is valued in psychiatry.

Last Updated on 11/11/02