Medical Student Education in Psychiatry
Welcome to the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical Student webpage!
We hope that this information is helpful to you as you navigate this page to learn more about psychiatry pre-clerkship, clerkship as well as other opportunities.
Residency & Careers
Psychiatry and behavioral sciences are taught during both the pre-clerkship and clerkship parts of medical school. Pre-clerkship instruction is provided to first- and second-year students and explores the behavioral determinants of health, doctor-patient relationship, and human development; offers patient interviewing apprenticeships; and examines the major psychiatric disorders including psychotic, mood, anxiety, eating, trauma-related, somatic symptom, and substance use disorders.
Of note, lunchtime courses include:
- PSYC 249 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Subspecialty Areas
In this lunch talk series, students will explore psychiatry and behavioral science subspecialty areas through the personal perspectives of psychiatrists and other specialists in behavioral health from a variety of practice settings. Some examples of topics have been advances in subspecialty areas (e.g., child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy, legal issues, mood & anxiety disorders, community outreach, eating disorders), the interplay between social issues and mental healthcare, and the nature of psychiatric work and work/life balance. Of note, this course discusses sensitive topics in psychiatry including suicide, psychosis, addiction, child abuse, sexual assault, trauma, violence, and mental disorders. While priority will be given to MD students, undergraduates and graduate students are welcomed.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1 | Repeatable for credit
- PSYC 225: Mentorship and Clinical Engagement in Child/Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1 | Repeatable for credit
Early Clinical Engagement in psychiatry: Interested students should connect with their advising dean
Psychiatry Core Clerkship PSYC 300A
The psychiatry core clerkship is a 4-week, clinical experience designed to solidify the knowledge of psychiatry that students have acquired in the Practice of Medicine courses, as students (clerks) gain practical skills in the application of this knowledge to clinical clerkship situations. The focus is on interviewing skills, psychiatric evaluations, clinical reasoning, and an overview of psychosocial and biological treatment modalities for the major psychiatric disorders. The clerkship consists of clinical work on inpatient units, some (half-day) outpatient clinics, and a couple (on-call, weekly for the firsts three weeks) emergency department shifts, under the supervision of academic and clinical faculty; a weekly didactic series by academic faculty; and attendance at Grand Rounds (didactics instead of Grand Rounds during the summer months).
Clerks are assigned to inpatient care settings in one or two of the following sites. (Clerks are given the opportunity to express their preferences regarding assignments. The final rotation assignments are, however, determined by the department based on availability of sites.)
- Stanford Health Care (SHC)
Core clerks do inpatient work on a comprehensive medical-psychiatric unit (G2 – patients have psychiatric and medical disorders), an acute care psychiatric unit (H2), a geriatric psychiatric unit (GPU), and/or the consultation-liaison (C/L) psychiatry service. Clerks will learn about psychiatric evaluations/diagnosis and psychopharmacologic and psychosocial treatments, with somewhat different patient populations depending on the clinical unit/service. In addition to this inpatient work, clerks participate in some half-day, outpatient clinics at Stanford. The clerkship will try to assign specialty clinics based on the clerk’s interests, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, child/adolescent, bipolar disorder, geriatric and general psychopharmacology clinics (see below). An alternative to doing some half-day, outpatient clinics is to participate full-time in outpatient clinics for part (1-2 weeks) of the core clerkship (if interested, clerks should contact the clerkship director in advance).
- VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), core clerks work on the Acute Inpatient Services and/or inpatient Consult-liaison Psychiatry Service.
The Acute Inpatient Psychiatry Service immerses clerks in the care of patients in the most acute states of psychiatric disorders. They will work in one of three 20-bed locked inpatient units that serve both male and female veterans, ranging from young adults to geriatric individuals. Clerks will have the opportunity to work closely with their team in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders, mood disorders, PTSD, and personality disorders. They will also attend legal hearings and participate in multidisciplinary rounds with nursing, recreation therapy, social work, psychologists, peer specialists and other providers in the collaborative care of patients.
The Consultation-Liaison (CL) Psychiatry Service involves providing psychiatric consultations, evaluations, and follow-up to medical and surgical inpatients throughout the VA Palo Alto campus, including the intensive care units, Acute Traumatic Brain Injury Rehab Unit, Spinal Cord Injury Unit, Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program and Integrated Extensive Treatment Program. Clerks will learn how to disentangle medical and psychiatric symptoms and use both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. They will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the VA Immersive and XR Network and the National Center for PTSD Tech into Care, integrating cutting-edge digital technologies as non-pharmacological interventions in their treatment plans.
In addition to this inpatient work at VAPAHCS, clerks participate in some half-day outpatient clinics at Stanford. The clerkship will try to assign specialty clinics based on the clerk’s interests, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, child/adolescent, bipolar disorder, geriatric and general psychopharmacology clinics (see below).
The core clerkship at the VAPAHCS is ideal for Stanford medical clerks who are eager to explore innovative approaches in psychiatric care, work with diverse veteran and active-duty cohorts, and integrating pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, including digital technologies, into clinical practice.
- El Camino Health Scrivner Center Mental Health and Addiction Services (2590 Grant Road, Mountain View)
The El Camino core clerkship focuses on giving a broad overview of psychiatry in various settings, primarily on the inpatient psychiatry unit, as well as on the consultation-liaison psychiatry service, and in outpatient clinics. The curriculum revolves around 1) Developing diagnostic and assessment skills in both inpatient and outpatient settings 2) Improving clinical decision-making skills 3) Expanding fund of knowledge in psychiatry, with emphasis on psychotherapeutic techniques and psychopharmacology 4) Enhancing empathy in engaging patients, appreciating patient autonomy, and delivering patient-centered care 5) Appreciating the importance of diversity and inclusion in patient care.
Clerks are informed about the specific clerkship requirements at the orientation offered at the start of each clerkship period. Clerks will be provided with a course syllabus and three textbooks (DSM-5, First Aid in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychiatry). Clerks will independently perform and write up 3-4 history and physicals and log seeing at least one patient with the following diagnoses: mood, substance use, anxiety, cognitive, and psychotic disorders. The NBME Subject Exam in Psychiatry is a required component of the clerkship.
Periods Available: 1-12, full-time for 4 weeks, 10 clerks per period. Prerequisites: None.
Clerkship Director: Charles DeBattista, M.D., firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-723-8324.
Clerkship Coordinator: Quynh Dang, email@example.com , 650-725-2769.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 6
Stanford Subspecialty Outpatient Clinics in the Psychiatry Core Clerkship
The subspecialty outpatient clinics (half-day) at Stanford will provide core clerks with exposure to a wide variety of mental health conditions seen in a typical outpatient practice. In most clinics, clerks can expect to be assigned 1-3 patients that may include new intakes and follow-up patients. New visits are typically 90 minutes and follow-up appointment are 30 minutes. For the assigned patients, clerks will lead the interview, present to the attending, write the progress or H &P note, and provide any needed additional follow-up in conjunction with the resident and attending psychiatrist. Clinics may either be remote, In person or a hybrid of the two. Clerks may select from these clinics depending on their interests and clinic availability.
(Dr. DeBattista and resident)
The clinic sees patient within the spectrum of depressive disorders from persistent depressive disorder to severe and resistant major depression. Patients with anxiety and other disorders are also seen in the clinic. The Depression clinic focuses on pharmacotherapy interventions including newer and novel strategies for resistant depression including esketamine, psychedelics, and newer generation antidepressants. Clerks will learn about the current classes of antidepressants and other intervention in the treatment of depression.
(Dr. Wang and resident)
The Bipolar clinics does comprehensive evaluations and follow up visits for patients in the bipolar spectrum including patient with bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorder. The clinic provides experience in the use of mood stabilizers and adjunctive treatments for patients in various phases of bipolar disorder including mania, hypomania and bipolar depression.
(Dr. Ballon and resident)
The Inspire Clinic provides patient centered care for individuals experiencing psychosis. . The clinic provides medication management, cognitive behavioral therapy, social work support, and other interventions for patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Clerks will learn about the role and antipsychotics and psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia.
(Dr. DeGolia and resident)
The Evaluation Clinic provides comprehensive evaluations on new patients seen in the psychiatry department. Clerks will sit with the attending on one side of a two- way mirror while the intern or resident are interviewing a new patient on the other side. The attending will run a commentary on the interview and discuss diagnostic and other issues arising during the interview. At the completion of the interview the student will typically be asked to present the patient with the intern/resident and attending present. Subsequently, the team will discuss diagnosis and treatment options including medications, psychotherapy, and other interventions. Clerks will learn the diagnostic assessment of various disorders.
(Drs Raj, Bhati, Kim. Sommer, Salaheldin, DeBattista, Deng)
The interventional psychiatry program at Stanford treats patient with serious depression and other disorders that have been in response to standard medications and psychotherapy. Clerks will assist in set-up and administration of patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Student will learn the indications, treatment course, and side effects of these interventions.
Residents’ Continuity Clinic
(Drs Van Roussel, Brooks)
This training clinic offers patients comprehensive evaluations and up to one year of management for all psychiatric conditions. Treatment includes medication management and brief psychotherapy for up to one year. In this clinic, clerks will refine diagnostic interviews and learn about the long -term management of a variety of psychiatric disorders.
Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic
(Drs. Lembke, Polignano and fellows
This clinic manages patients with dual diagnosis: patient have both substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders. Learn More
Other clinics in which clerks may participate
Include the Geropsychiatry, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, Neuropsychiatry, Positive Care (HIV), LGBTQ Mental Health, Neurodiversity (Autism Spectrum), and a variety of child and adolescent (eating disorders, autism, and mood disorders) clinics, if available
(Selective I, Selective II, Electives, and Continuity Clinic Clerkship)
Other Clerkships in the third and fourth years of medical school offer clinical instruction in inpatient and outpatient interdisciplinary settings, designed to teach students how to conduct a diagnostic assessment and to use standardized diagnostic criteria and psychiatric treatments. Doing a sub-internship in Psychiatry (Selective II) is highly recommended for medical students considering matching to a psychiatry residency.
Selective I Clerkships 4.8: Selective Clerkship Requirement | MD Program | Stanford Medicine
- PSYC 328B (Addiction at VAPAHCS) Addiction Treatment Services
- PSYC 308E (VAPAHCS) Trauma Psychiatry -- currently not available
Selective II Clerkships 4.8: Selective Clerkship Requirement | MD Program | Stanford Medicine
- PSYC 358A (SHC, open to visitors) Subinternship in Inpatient Psychiatry
- PSYC 362B (VAPAHCS, closed to visitors) Subinternship in Inpatient Psychiatry
- PSYC 326A (SHC) Child Psychiatry Clerkship
- PSYC 333A (SHC) Sleep Medicine for Medical Students
- PSYC 353A (SHC) Psychosomatic Medicine (Psychiatry Consultation Service) Clerkship
- PSYC 355A (SHC), Geriatric Psychiatry Clerkship
- PSYC 398A (SHC, VA) Advanced Clinical, Research Elective in Psychiatry
Continuity of Care Clerkship in Psychiatry
- FAMMED 310A (SHC, VAPAHCS) Continuity of Care Clerkship in Psychiatry
(Even though this clerkship is listed in the Department of Family Medicine, it offers clinical work with a preceptor in an ambulatory setting in any field of medicine, including psychiatry. If interested contact the Charles DeBattista, M.D., firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-723-8324)
Clerkship: Continuity of Care | SHIELD | Stanford Medicine
- Visiting Medical Students
- Stanford Clinical Opportunity for Residency Experience (SCORE)
Visiting students from diverse backgrounds (URM)
Psychiatry Student Interest Group, known as PsychSIG, is a group run by medical students who have identified an interest in the field of Psychiatry, with the guidance and support of both a faculty and resident liaison.
We strive to offer a safe place to ask questions, receive support, feel camaraderie, and engage in leadership activities. We hope to make PsychSIG a visible and sustainable part of the Stanford School of Medicine landscape and would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining!
Our goal is to provide an early community to medical students who are considering a career in Psychiatry. We believe cultivating such a community at the medical student training level is important in order to offer exposure to role models and examples of different career paths, stimulate curiosity and enthusiasm about the field, and support students through the process of deciding on a residency specialty and undertaking the application process.
PsychSIG aims to have a presence at major school events such as the activities fair and second look weekend. Additionally, we typically hold a welcome event in the fall followed by smaller dinners and events throughout the year. We welcome new medical students to become involved in the leadership of PsychSIG and to propose their own ideas for events or initiatives.
We strive to offer a safe place to ask questions, receive support, feel camaraderie, and engage in leadership activities. We would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining!
If you are interested in joining our mailing list, please look us up on Stanford's Mailing List tool using the keywords PSYCSIGN
Follow us at Psych SIG instagram: @stanfordpsychsig
Psychiatry Engagement Events
- Fall: PsychSIG Welcome Mixer
- Winter: Community Service Event; Resident Mixer
- Spring: Psychiatry Matched Student Panel; Mental Health Awareness Campaign; APA Conference
- Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation: Annual CAP Medical Student Conference
Contact Anita Kishore, MD at email@example.com
Research and Other Opportunities
Please refer to the below for research opportunities.
- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research
- Areas of Research and Academic Activity
Click on “Lab Name or Research Topic” to search by topic
- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Annual Academic Update
See section on Advancing Science > Research Highlights for thumbnail sketches about each research group
see MedScholars electronic posting of laboratory opportunities. The Assistant Director, Medical Student Research & Scholarship is Celina Ng firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences T32 Medical Student (MS1 and MS2) Research Training Summer Fellowships in Clinical Psychiatry
The Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has openings for NIMH-funded medical student fellowships for Summer 2024. This fellowship is designed for those who are interested in pursuing careers in psychiatry. Positions are available for up to two summers. Candidates should have an identified area of interest and potential Stanford mentor. Research activities include involvement in ongoing research projects and, ideally, development of independent projects with the Stanford mentor’s guidance. Stipends for NIMH training fellowships are approximately $5,000 for the summer. These positions are open to Stanford University 1st and 2nd year medical students. The applicant must (1) be a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder AND (2) be in a Stanford University Medical School MD or MD/PhD program. Candidates must contact Stanford faculty in their area of interest before applying and identify potential Stanford mentors in the application (see faculty list at http://psychiatry.stanford.edu).
To ask questions contact Dr. Alan Schatzberg email@example.com To apply, send the following in one email to Dr Schatzberg (Deadline Feb 15, 2024):
- Statement of specific research interests including interest in any particular Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty member
- Curriculum vitae
- One letter of recommendation
National Opportunities, Awards and Resources
Medical Student Award
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
APA/APAF Medical Student Programs
APA/APAF Medical Student Programs provide medical students who are interested in serving underserved communities the experiential learning, training, and professional development they need to be leaders in the field of psychiatry. These grants give medical students opportunities to travel to APA Meetings (Annual Meeting and IPS: The Mental Health Services Conference), receive mentorship from psychiatrists and leaders in the field, and more. Learn More
Travel Scholarship for Medical Students to National Meetings Learn More
American Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP Jeanne Spurlock, MD, Research Fellowship in Substance Abuse and Addiction for Minority Medical Students
AACAP Summer Medical Student Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Association for Academic Psychiatry
Medical Student Essay Award
Association of Women Psychiatrists
Leah J. Dickstein, M.D., M.A., Medical Student Award
Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry
Karl Jaspers Award
American Psychiatric Association: Professional Interest
(subspecialties and other areas in psychiatry)
Medical Student Education in Psychiatry Leadership
- Charles DeBattista
Director, Medical Student Education in Psychiatry
- Wendy Feng
Director, Pre-Clerkship Curriculum in Psychiatry
- Matthew Jacobs
VA Site Director, Medical Student Education in Psychiatry
- Daniel Kim
SHC Site Director, Medical Student Education in Psychiatry
- Quynh Dang
Coordinator, Medical Student Education in Psychiatry
- Anita Kishore
PsychSIG Faculty Liaison
- Alan Louie
Associate Chair – Director of Education
- Isheeta Zalpuri
Assistant Director of Education
- Sallie DeGolia
General Residency Program Director
- Yasmin Owusu
Assistant Dean, Academic Advising