The psychiatry clerkship is a four-week experience.  It has both an inpatient and outpatient component, the proportion of which varies by the primary site assignment.  Four different clinical sites are used for the training of medical students during the clerkship.  At all sites, students learn from and work with University of Chicago faculty, residents, or fellows.  In addition to the primary assignments described below, all students have longitudinal exposure to psychiatry outpatient clinics and an on-call experience in emergency and consultation/liaison psychiatry at The University of Chicago Hospitals.

The Clerkship Sites

  • University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) – Primary assignment on the adult consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatry service that provides assessment and consultation to patients and physicians on UCMC medical, surgical, and subspecialty units.
  • Evanston Hospital – Primary assignment on the adult inpatient unit providing psychiatric care to both general psychiatry and dual diagnosis patients.
  • Chicago Lakeshore Hospital (CLH) – Primary assignment on child and adolescent inpatient psychiatry unit staffed by U of C fellows in Child and Adolescent psychiatryand University of Chicago faculty. CLH is a freestanding, for-profit psychiatric hospital.
  • Mercy Hospital – Primary assignment on the adult inpatient general psychiatry unit, which serves patients with chronic and acute psychiatric disorders as well as co-morbid medical, neurological, and/or substance abuse issues.  ECT is performed at Mercy hospital by U of C physicians two days a week.
  • University of Chicago outpatient clinics – students are assigned to one or two weekly outpatient clinics, including the general adult psychiatry clinics, the child clinics, the anxiety disorders clinic, and other outpatient clinics.


The goal of the clerkship is to impart basic psychiatric skills and a fund of knowledge that will provide students with the tools necessary to detect and manage common mental disorders as future physicians.  Broad areas of skills include interviewing techniques, including history-taking and mental status examination of psychiatric symptoms and signs; development of psychiatric differential diagnoses and a biopsychosocial formulation of patients’ psychiatric illness; and formulation of psychiatric treatment options, including pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.  The fund of knowledge students must acquire includes the epidemiology, phenomenology, pathophysiology, treatment, and course of psychiatric disorders.  At the end of the rotation, mastery of these skills and areas of knowledge is assessed through written evaluations by faculty and residents of the student’s clinical performance during the clerkship, by a NBME “shelf” subject examination, and by a standardized patient exam.  More information can be obtained at our website:

Psychiatry Grade

  • Clinical Performance - 67%
  • Written Exam - 33%
  • OSCE - P/F

Required Textbook

Roberts LW, Hoop JG, Heinrich TW.  Clinical Psychiatry Essentials.  Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2009