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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ~ Medical Student Education~ Clerkship & Clinical Sites

Clerkship Description

The psychiatry clerkship is a 4-week core clerkship, consisting of both inpatient and outpatient experiences.  Students will have a 1-2 primary training sites for the 4 weeks, spend a half-day in an outpatient setting, spend 2 days in a substance abuse treatment facility, and will have an 'on-call' experience in the emergency room with residents and attending psychiatrists. Although the sites have their unique qualities, every site offers a wealth of exposure to psychiatric psychopathology. Students will gain appreciation of the illnesses themselves as well as start to understand management of patients with mild to severe psychiatric illnesses. Students will also be responsible for attending didactics and departmental grand rounds scheduled during their clerkship. 

Students should use this clerkship as an opportunity to, not only learn the fundamentals of psychiatry, but to also develop interview skills and hone the ability to build rapport with patients. The doctor-patient relationship is essential to providing quality care in any setting, and within this specialty, students have the opportunity to truly develop and appreciate this skill. 

Clerkship Sites (click on site name for more information)

BRG - Baton Rouge General Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA (Inpatient Experience)

Attending: Dr. Venu Vatsavai

Contact: Lauren Laing, Coordinator
Email: Lauren.Laing@brgeneral.org
Tulane University School of Medicine 

Site Address:
3600 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA  70806
BRG Students will receive mandatory paperwork requirements that must be met for credentialing purposes as soon as possible after receipt of assignments. Other instructions, driving directions and living arrangements will be sent on receipt of credentialing forms.

Students should also read this guide to writing Progress notes  from Dr. V, as well as Medical Student Housing Rules and Regulations and the BRG Policy Packet for Students.

C/L – Consult/Liaison Service at Tulane University Hospital ER

Attendings: Dr. McConville, Dr. Potash
The C/L service serves Tulane Hospital and provides psychiatric consultation to medical and surgical floors, as well as to the emergency room. Frequently encountered consults include evaluation and management of altered mental status, evaluation of cognitive impairment associated with dementia, capacity to make informed decisions, mood, anxiety, psychotic disorders in the acutely and chronically medically ill, somatoform and factitious disorders, and substance-related disorders. Common emergency room consults include unstable psychiatric disorders, suicidality, and substance-related disorders. Students will work closely with the residents and attendings on the C/L service for 2-4 weeks

Weekend ER Rounds & Call

*This is the weekend call service for the consult-liaison team at Tulane Hospital.
Students will meet the C/L resident at 7 am to start seeing patients (unless instructed otherwise by the resident). Students will be assigned either a new ER/floor patient or old ER/floor patient to see, write a note on, and present during attending rounds. After rounds, the student will see and write up a full consult on new patients in ER/floor if there are new consults. If there are no new consults at that time, the students are free to go study. However, students must be available by phone in case a new consult comes in; the students are expected to remain “on call” until 4:30 pm.

University Medical Center, New Orleans

Attendings: Dr. Detrinis, Dr. Weiss, Dr. O'Neill
This is an inpatient psychiatric unit, where patients are admitted for acute psychiatric emergencies. It is short-term unit (typically 3-7 day hospitalizations. Common pathology students will be exposed to include psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, as well as unstable mood disorders and substance-related disorders. Patients are often admitted under involuntary commitments due to danger to self, others, or inability to care for themselves. Students will be working directly with Tulane psychiatry residents, learning to provide comprehensive care starting from initial evaluation to discharge planning, while in an inpatient psychiatric setting.

MHICM: VA Mental Health Intensive Case Management Team (Outpatient)

Attending: Dr. Erin Stanton
Email: estanto1@tulane.edu
MHICM is an outpatient experience. MHICM is a group of RNs and social workers who, together with a resident and Dr. Stanton, provide a high level of psychiatric and psychosocial support to those with chronic mental illness. This typically involves weekly home visits, packing of medications, and depot antipsychotic injections. The team uses the recovery model of psychosocial rehabilitation to help these patients live a full and meaningful life despite their disabilities.

Attendings: Dr. Warren Trask, Dr. Mark Shoptaugh
OLOL is a diverse experience, offering clinical time on an inpatient psychiatric unit, as well as experience on the consultation service and in the emergency room. Common pathology students will be exposed to include psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, as well as unstable mood disorders and substance-related disorders. Student housing is provided close to campus.

Attendings: Drs. Melissa Hall, Margaret Miller, Edward Harvey
Biloxi VA houses a multitude of psychiatric services that are veteran-centered, including acute inpatient, and residential units. This is our newest rotation site for medical students and it has recently become a residency training site for Tulane psychiatry residents. Currently students will experience acute inpatient psychiatry as well as be exposed to residential units for illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. They will also go to multidisciplinary didactic series, offered on Wednesdays. Students will be working directly with Tulane psychiatry residents, learning to provide comprehensive care starting from initial evaluation to discharge planning, while in an inpatient psychiatric setting.