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Psychiatry, Adult Outpatient (Minnesota)


You are assigned to Mayo Clinic's outpatient psychiatry service under the direct supervision of a staff adult psychiatrist. This service functions as the primary outpatient adult psychiatry referral source for all types of psychiatric outpatient services, including individual, marital and, at times, chemical dependency evaluations. You observe residents performing evaluations and are given the opportunity to conduct the primary evaluation of various outpatient psychiatric problems, including affective illness, thought disorders, adjustment disorders and the evaluation of psychosomatic illness.

Specific goals

  1. Expand basic understanding of psychiatry as a specialty area
  2. Improve skills in establishing patient rapport, conducting psychiatric interviews and identifying psychodynamic issues
  3. Obtain an introduction to psychotherapy
  4. Gain experience in the initiation and maintenance of patients on psychotropic medications
  5. Discuss cases referred to the outpatient setting by nonpsychiatric physicians, and then work out treatment plans with those physicians

Activity outline

You are assigned to participate in the evaluation of new outpatient referrals. Some patients treated by students are local people, while other patient referrals are made for the purpose of consultation and continue to receive their care elsewhere. All of the patients' work-ups are staffed under the direct supervision of the adult psychiatry staff.

Each week, two half days are set aside for medication clinic patients. You may participate in the re-evaluation of patients maintained on psychotropic medication and for whom medication is the primary treatment modality. Attendance at daily supervision sessions is expected. Outside of direct clinical supervision, you have weekly individual supervision with the clerkship director.

Method of evaluation

Toward the end of the elective, students conduct live patient interviews while being observed and have the opportunity to receive feedback about their interviewing styles. A performance review also is provided at the end of the elective.