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Elective Clerkships

The Department of Psychiatry offers a broad range of elective opportunities for University of Iowa medical students and qualified visiting medical students. Individually arrange electives that meet students’ interests and educational needs are also available.

8401:0400 - Adult Inpatient Psychiatry

This advanced elective offers the opportunity to study clinical psychiatry in greater depth. Elective clerks carry a smaller case load than residents, but are otherwise expected to act as junior residents with staff supervision. Clerks also participate in a program of directed readings, didactic seminars, and clinical conferences. Feedback on directly observed clinical interviews will be provided. Options include general adult psychiatry, geriatrics, eating disorders, mood, or psychotic disorders/neuropsychiatry. Student learning will emphasize assessment to develop a foundation of skills in clinical interviewing, mental status examination, differential diagnosis, and formulation. Psychotherapeutic and pharmacological management approaches will be emphasized. May be repeated at alternate clinical sites.

8402:0400 - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This elective offers the student the opportunity to study in depth the behavioral manifestations of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. The elective will include both inpatient and outpatient experiences so that students have an opportunity to observe how psychiatrists diagnose and treat acute and chronic disorders in children. Outpatient clinic experiences will include diagnostic evaluations, medication follow-ups, and full team evaluations. Students will also have the opportunity to observe neuropsychological and psychological evaluations. Students also participate in a program of clinical readings, didactic seminars, and clinical conferences. This elective is well-suited for the student who is planning a career in pediatrics. May be repeated.

8403:0400 - Adult Outpatient Psychiatry

This elective offers students the opportunity to study outpatient psychiatry and emergency management of psychiatric patients. Students will be expected to participate with more independence in the diagnostic assessment of new patients in the clinic, as well as to assist senior residents in the evaluation and treatment of patients with psychiatric emergencies. An emphasis will be placed on the further development of psychiatric interviewing skills and diagnostic assessment skills. Students will be exposed to both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment modalities. Observation of group psychotherapy and participation in senior elective clinical readings, resident didactic seminars, and resident clinical conferences are expected of the clerk during this elective. The elective will be tailored as possible to the student’s interests, including exposure to the University Adult Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic, the VA Adult Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic, geriatric evaluations, addictions treatment, and community psychiatry sites.

8404:0400 - Women's Wellness and Counseling Service

Fourth year medical students can pursue a Women’s Mental Health senior elective in the Women’s Wellness and Counseling Service (WWC) at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and at the Veterans Affairs Women's Clinic. During this four week rotation, students will have the opportunity for greater autonomy in evaluation and treatment of women with mental illness with a special emphasis on pregnant and postpartum women. They will be expected to participate in case conferences, attend regularly scheduled educational activities in women’s mental health, prepare a presentation for the WWC service, and develop a working knowledge of fundamental literature in this field. The majority of clinical and educational activities will be devoted to women’s mental health. Depending on in the interests of the student, other psychiatric learning activities will be arranged during this rotation.

8409:0400 - Eating Disorders

The elective in eating disorders will provide an experience for the student that maximizes autonomy and responsibility. The inpatient rotation will emphasize the co-occurring psychiatric and co-morbid medical conditions associated with the eating disorders. Students will be expected to assess and manage their patients at an advanced level. Students will provide direct patient care and engage in clinical decision making for complex patients with substantial co-morbidity. Call is required. The didactic curriculum focuses on critical appraisal of the relevant medical literature.

8410:0400 - Intellectual Disabilities

This two-week elective in intellectual disabilities (ID) will provide an in depth clinical experience in the interdisciplinary approach to assessment and management of individuals with ID. Supervising faculty will have expertise in this sub-specialty of psychiatry (Jodi Tate, MD), developmental and behavioral pediatrics (Dianne McBrien, MD), and clinical psychology (Todd Kopelman). Clinical experience will primary involve outpatient settings. During this elective students will participate in the psychiatric evaluation of adults with both a mental illness and an ID (Tate), medical evaluation of children and/or adults with ID (McBrien) and biobebavioral evaluation of children and/or adults with ID (Kopelman). Student will also tour local agencies that provide services to individuals with ID (Tate).

8411:0400 - Substance Abuse

This elective offers students an in depth clinical experience in the assessment and management of individuals with alcohol and drug abuse. Supervising faculty have expertise in this sub-specialty of psychiatry and clinical experience can be done in a variety of substance abuse settings, from outpatient to residential. The elective will focus on the assessment and management of substance abuse disorders. A presentation of scholarly work (presentation or paper) is expected. Call is not required.

8412:0400 - Emergency Psychiatry

The elective in emergency psychiatry will provide an in depth clinical experience in the assessment and management of acute psychiatric illness. Supervising faculty will have expertise in care within this setting and clinical experiences will be centered in the emergency department at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

8450:0400 - Psychiatry Continuity of Care

The psychiatry continuity of care (COC) clinic will provide an educational experience for the student that maximizes autonomy and responsibility in an outpatient continuous care setting. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate patients independently and present directly to attending staff. The clinical experience will reflect that of a COC clinic in accordance with the relevant College of Medicine policies. The rotation is 100% outpatient. Sites include the Integrated Multidisciplinary Program in Assertive Community Treatment (IMPACT) and the Veterans Affairs Adult Psychiatry Clinic.

8405:0400 - Sub-Internship in Medical Psychiatry

The Medical Psychiatry Clerkship is designed to provide hands-on experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with combined medical and psychiatric disease. The fourth year student under the supervision of residents in both medicine and psychiatry will learn to make appropriate medical and psychiatric diagnoses while considering the relationship of these conditions. The student will act at sub-intern level selecting appropriate consultations, diagnostic tests, and treatments. The student will be expected to develop familiarity with the etiology and pathophysiology of the conditions being treated, review potential complications, and develop skills in direct interactions with the patients to facilitate team-teaching and patient care. The student is required to prepare and present an article at the Medicine-Psychiatry noon conference. Contact Dr. Vicki Kijewski for details about the noon conference schedule at the initial of the elective. Participation in senior elective clinical readings, resident didactic seminars, and resident clinical conferences are expected of the clerk during this elective.

8408:0400 - Sub-Internship in Mood/Psychotic Disorders

The sub-internship in adult psychiatry will provide an experience for the student that maximizes autonomy and responsibility. The inpatient rotation will focus on one sub-specialty area (psychotic disorders or mood disorders) and emphasize the substantial medical co-morbidity. The sub-intern will be expected to assess and address the medical and psychiatric needs of their assigned patients in a collaborative and integrative fashion. Students will be expected to assess and manage their patients independently at the level of a psychiatry intern, reporting directly to the attending. Call is required. The didactic curriculum focuses on critical appraisal of the medical literature.

8498:0400 - Psychiatry On-Campus

Individually arranged* by student with approval of the department. If you are interested in discussing options for an individually arranged elective, contact Jess Fiedorowicz, MD, Director of Medical Student Electives in Psychiatry, at 319-384-9267 or jess-fiedorowicz@uiowa.edu.

8499:0400 - Psychiatry Off-Campus

Individually arranged* by student with approval of the department. If you are interested in discussing options for an individually arranged elective, contact Jess Fiedorowicz, MD, Director of Medical Student Electives in Psychiatry, at 319-384-9267 or jess-fiedorowicz@uiowa.edu.

*Previous individually arranged electives have included adolescent depression, assertive community treatment, neuropsychiatry/neuropsychology, palliative care, community psychiatry, and psychotherapy. Electives in continuity of care and substance abuse have subsequently been made formal electives.

8422:0400 Family Medicine-Psychiatry

This course emphasizes the integration of mental and physical health care across outpatient family medicine and outpatient psychiatry, including: mental health care in the primary care setting; primary care for people with severe mental illness; continuity of care; comprehensive and holistic care; caring for entire families and caring for patients throughout the lifespan; integration of health care in the local community; care for acute and chronic diseases; preventive medicine; and patient education. Students gain skills in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with common illnesses seen in the ambulatory setting while assigned to a variety of clinics, including Counseling and Health Promotions Services, the Family Medicine Clinic, the rural office in Riverside, the Abbe Center for Community Mental Health in Iowa City, the primary care clinic in adult psychiatry, the palliative medicine service, and the IMPACT program. Students work collaboratively with other members of the health team. Students attend conference in the Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry. Students taking this rotation must be seriously considering entering a combined residency in family medicine and psychiatry. For more information contact Alison Lynch, MD at alison-lynch@uiowa.edu