Psychiatric Clerkship: A Review of the Concept
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The concept of psychiatric clerkships as part of undergraduate medical education was examined. All relevant English literature from the last eight years was surveyed and discussed in four parts: 1) The goals and objectives of psychiatric clerkships were examined. The author concluded that there is a need to further differentiate educational goals of the clinical years from the pre-clinical years. Two major requirements for a successful clerkship were patient responsibility and adequate faculty supervision. 2) The significance of the clerkship setting was evident from the survey as settings were found to influence the students' attitudinal development and also the development of clinical judgement. 3) The effects of psychiatric clerkships on the students, patients, and faculty were discussed and felt to be an requiring further exploration. 4) The problems of evaluation were addressed. From the survey, it appeared that the clerkship experience was of particular value in modifying student attitudes to mental illness. Attempts to evaluate the acquisition of clinical skills and judgement were reviewed. The paper concluded by outlining areas requiring further exploration and research so that the concept of psychiatric clerkships can be further developed.
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