Electives

A variety of fourth-year electives are available for medical students in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Clinical as well as research opportunities can be arranged. Students from other medical schools are welcome, and those interested in learning more about Michigan's Psychiatry Residency program are invited and encouraged to spend some elective time here.

Psychiatry Consult-Liaison (8205)

Students rotating on the psychiatry consult-liaison elective will work within a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, including psychiatrists, social workers, a psychologist, and psychiatric nurses.  The team performs evaluations on patients admitted to University Hospital, VonVoigtlander Women’s Hospital, and the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.  Both comprehensive and focused psychiatric evaluations are requested for a variety of reasons, including: change in mental status/delirium, agitation, exacerbation of a previously diagnosed mental health condition, new onset psychiatric symptoms, capacity to make medical decisions, difficulty in adjustment to illness, and suicide risk evaluation, among others.  The psychiatry consult-liaison team provides diagnostic and treatment recommendations to primary medical teams, and helps support the mental health needs of patients admitted to the hospital.  Students will learn the indications for a psychiatric consult, understand how the psychiatry consult team can be helpful to both patients and primary teams, and will improve knowledge base around a variety of mental health, substance use, and neurocognitive diagnoses.  Students will also improve interviewing and oral presentation skills, and learn how to communicate recommendations to other health care providers.  The senior medical student will be encouraged to be the primary point of contact to the primary team, with extensive supervision from psychiatry residents and attendings.  The elective has broad appeal given its applicability to multiple different career pathways in medicine.

Emergency Psychiatry (8201)

The Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) is a busy clinical service where students can see a variety of the psychiatric and psychosocial problems that they will encounter in practice no matter what field they choose. Patients of all ages presenting with all psychiatric diagnosis are seen in PES. This elective is especially useful for students interested in psychiatry, emergency medicine, or any primary care specialty.  Students will have the opportunity to work closely with psychiatry faculty members and other PES clinical staff in direct patient care and become an integral part of our treatment team during the month-long experience. 

Geriatric Psychiatry (8203)

This elective can be tailored to the individual interests of each participating medical student and would be an especially valuable experience for those planning to pursue neurology, internal medicine, family medicine as well as psychiatry. A variety of settings allow clinical opportunities for participation in the evaluation and treatment of older patients with dementia and mental illness, to prepare future physicians to meet the need of the rising percentage of elderly in the population. Medical students will learn advanced skills in the assessment of geriatric psychiatry patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings as members of an interdisciplinary treatment team. Diagnoses focus on the 3 D's of geriatric psychiatry- Dementia, Depression, and Delirium. Advanced strategies in bedside neurocognitive testing will be presented. Learners will develop familiarity with geriatric community resources and family interventions. Interested students may sit in on neuro-psychometric testing sessions. Sites include the University Hospital for inpatient and ECT, and the East Ann Arbor Geriatrics Center for outpatient. Participation at a nursing home, and a dementia care assisted living unit at Chelsea Retirement Community will round out the experience. Clinical opportunities can be tailored to the individual student's interests, including palliative care, ECT and more.

Inpatient Psychiatry (8206)

The University Hospital adult inpatient unit provides intensive treatment for voluntary and involuntary patients with a variety of mood, personality, anxiety, psychotic, substance use, and other disorders at all levels of acuity.  The elective consists of active involvement as a functioning member of a treatment team that includes an attending psychiatrist, house officer, and nursing, social work, and activity therapy staff. Students will conduct initial and follow-up evaluations of psychiatric inpatients, lead treatment team discussions of diagnosis and treatment, communicate with family members and outpatient care providers, write daily notes, and serve as the primary clinician (under attending and house officer supervision) for 2-3 patients at a time. Clinical activities will be similar to those of a house officer on the service. The experience is designed primarily for students interested in psychiatry or students who wish to see severe or complicated manifestations of psychopathology.

For more information about studying at the University of Michigan Medical School, please visit the Visiting Student Program Website