Welcome to our Psychiatric Clerkship for Medical Students. This course aims to provide medical students with essential resources and knowledge to help develop foundational skills and competencies related to their psychiatry training. The course is organized into modules and lessons which cover a range of psychiatric disorders as outlined in the DSM-5, including but not limited to sleeping disorders, sexual disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and adjustment disorders. The modules focus on identifying and screening for specific symptoms and proposing feasible treatment and management strategies. In addition, a COVID-19 module explores the impact of the pandemic on mental health conditions. By engaging in this course, you will be able to develop skills specific to psychiatry, such as history-taking, medical interviewing, and clinical reasoning, through our interactive learning components.
This course was developed based on the “Clinical Learning Objectives Guide for Psychiatry Education of Medical Students,” created by the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP). Subject matter experts reviewed the ADMSEP learning objectives in 2022 to ensure alignment with the most recent updates to the DSM-5. Like all NextGenU.org materials, this course was developed as a joint effort of expert instructional designers and subject matter experts in psychiatry and addiction. The subject matter experts involved in designing and reviewing the learning materials are Scott Oakman, MD, Ph.D; Eduardo Bianco, MD, MSc; Magali Collonnaz, MD, MPH, MSc; Lucia Villalba, MD; Gabriel Rossi, MD; and Medical Residents Dr. Aditya Shah, Dr. Diana Nguyen, Dr. Lucia Lamberti, Dr. Kimberly Evans, and Dr. Monthe Kofos. The instructional designers who participated in the design and development of this clerkship are Alixandria Ali, BSc; Reisha Narine, M.Sc., B.Sc.; Hugo Rojas, MD, MSc, DiplEd; Pablo Baldiviezo, MD, DiplEd; and Carolina Bustillos, MD, DiplEd; Sherian Bachan, M.Sc., B.Sc; Seema Persaud, M.Sc., B.Sc.; Sara Wildman, B.Sc.; and Rhonda Prudent, B.Sc.
This course uses resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Cambridge University, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and National Institute of Mental Health, among others.
For publications on NextGenU.org’s courses’ efficacy, see our publication page.
This course is divided into six (6) modules:
- Module 1: Developmental, Cognitive, and Somatic Disorders
- Module 2: Prevalent Psychiatric Conditions
- Module 3: Disease Prevention, Therapeutics, and Management
- Module 4: Professionalism, Ethics, and the Law
- Module 5: COVID-19 and Mental Health
- Module 6: Clinical Skills
The completion time for this course is estimated to be 260 hours which includes 76 hours of readings, 151 hours for study and assimilation, and 33 hours of work participating in activities comprising of 11 discussion forums, 1 reflection, 19 case studies, and module quizzes to assist the student in the synthesis of the materials. This course is equivalent to a total of 6 credit hours.
At the end of each module, there is a practice quiz with unlimited attempts, and at the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and learning activity, you’ll have access to a final exam of forty (40) multiple-choice questions with a maximum of 3 attempts, and a chance to evaluate this course. Once you’ve passed that last test, you can download a certificate of completion from NextGenU.org. We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request.
Engaging with this course:
This free course is intended for medical students and hospital teaching staff who would like to learn more about the diagnosis, management, and treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders as outlined in the DSM-5 manual.
The course is intended for any student in a psychiatric clerkship who wants to use this material for support learning at the hospital, and for universities and institutions who want to use this as part of a psychiatric clerkship to distribute all content modules during the clerkship including the online assessments and activities.
To obtain a certificate, a learner must first register for the course and then successfully complete:
- all the reading requirements;
- all quizzes and pass with a 70%;
- all reflection activities;
- all discussion forums;
- all case studies;
- the final exam with a minimum of 70%;
- the self and course evaluation forms;
- complete skill based component in a hospital setting supervised by a mentor.*
*In order to receive a certificate of completion, you will need to complete a skills-based component of the course, which requires you to identify a hospital teaching staff member (physician) as a mentor, for local observation and supervised practice.
To obtain credit:
- Complete all requirements listed above for the certificate, and
- Your learning institution or workplace should approve the course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere. Check with your learning institution before beginning this course to ensure institutional credit.
To obtain a degree, NextGenU.org co-sponsors degree programs with institutional partners. To obtain a full degree co-sponsored with NextGenU.org, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a NextGenU.org institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with NextGenU.org, contact us.
We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.
Here are the next steps to take the course.
- Complete the registration form.
- Take the pre-test.
- Begin the course with Module 1: Developmental, Cognitive, and Somatic Disorders. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and activities, and take the corresponding quizzes.
This lesson provides the learner with resources to be knowledgeable about child development, obtain an accurate developmental history, perform an age-appropriate mental status, and recognize signs and symptoms associated with psychiatric disorders to refer, evaluate and manage them successfully.
12 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to recognize signs and symptoms suggestive of mental disorders in a culturally competent manner, know the physiological and sociocultural changes accompanying aging, to refer, evaluate, and treat them successfully.10 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources that allow one to make initial assessments of cognitive disorders, examine underlying conditions and causes, appropriately utilize cognitive assessment tools, account for language and cultural variations, and successfully manage, treat, and refer patients with cognitive disorders.
12 URLs, 1 Forum
This lesson provides the learner with resources to recognize indicative signs and symptoms of dissociative and amnestic disorders to evaluate, refer and treat them successfully.9 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources that allows one to recognize the signs and symptoms of possible Psychotic Disorders, make initial assessments, examine underlying conditions and successfully manage, treat and refer patients with psychotic disorders.19 URLs, 1 Forum, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to recognize signs and symptoms suggestive of personality disorders, assess how these disorders may complicate treatment efforts, to refer, evaluate and treat them successfully.14 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources that allows one to recognize signs and symptoms of possible Somatoform Disorders, Factitious Disorder, and Malingering, make initial assessments, examine underlying pathology, and successfully manage, treat and refer patients with these disorders.
7 URLs, 1 Forum, 1 Quiz
This lesson provides the learner with resources to recognize signs and symptoms of anxiety, become familiar with the diagnostic criteria for various anxiety disorders, make initial assessments, examine possible emergent underlying conditions, and successfully manage, treat and refer patients with anxiety disorders.11 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources that allows one to recognize signs and symptoms of possible Mood Disorders, make initial assessments, examine underlying conditions, assess the risk of suicidal and homicidal behavior, and successfully manage, treat and refer patients with mood disorders.
20 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources that allows one to recognize the signs and symptoms of Substance Use Disorders, make initial assessments, examine underlying conditions and successfully manage, treat and refer patients with Substance Use Disorders.22 URLs, 1 Forum, 1 SCORM package
This module provides a comprehensive overview of disease prevention and a range of therapeutics and management strategies.
This lesson provides the learner with resources to be knowledgeable about the necessary preventative strategies in decreasing the occurrence of illness, reducing the duration of diseases, and minimizing the associated disability of medical conditions.
18 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to know the indications, contraindications, presumed mechanism of action, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, common and serious adverse effects of psychotropic drugs, and its interactions with disease and other drugs.
21 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to recognize and refer patients for an ECT or further evaluation to treat psychiatric disorders via alternative brain stimulation therapies that are approved and accepted for general use.
This lesson provides the learner with resources to understand psychotherapy, the different types of psychotherapy, its relevant principles to the doctor-patient relationship, and evidence-based psychotherapy for treating particular disorders.
18 URLs, 1 Forum, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to collaborate effectively with other physicians in different specialties, other healthcare workers in various disciplines, and the patient’s family to optimal clinical outcomes.
11 URLs, 1 SCORM package
This lesson provides the learner with resources to understand the use of Complementary and Alternative treatment modalities across all cultures and age groups and supporting evidence for its use and possible adverse effects.
5 URLs, 1 Forum, 1 Quiz
This module provides a comprehensive overview of professionalism and ethics in a clinical setting, including medical-legal issues in psychiatry and cultural competence and mental health disparities.
This lesson provides the learner with resources to demonstrate high quality, unbiased care for mentally ill patients, detect medical conditions in psychiatric illnesses, develop patient advocate skills, discuss patient boundaries, and promote a positive learning environment.