Neurology & Psychiatry Clerkships
There are three fundamental components of the Neurology & Psychiatry clerkships:
- Primary clinical experiences
- Supplemental learning experiences
Students learn clinical medicine and clinical skills in Neurology and Psychiatry at their primary clinical setting. For Neurology, these settings include:
- SLU Hospital General Neurology
- SLU Hospital Stroke Service
- SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center
- John Cochran Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital
For Psychiatry, these settings include:
- SLU Hospital Adult Inpatient Unit
- SLU Hospital Geriatric Inpatient Unit
- SLU Hospital Consultation-Liaison Service
- Jefferson Barracks VA Hospital
In each clerkship rotation, half of the students experience clinical Neurology in weeks 1-4, followed by clinical Psychiatry in weeks 5-8, and vice versa for the other half of the students. Students who have a preference may select the clinical settings in which they are most interested. Clinical experiences at non-VA settings may be 2 or 4 weeks in duration; VA experiences must be 4 weeks in duration. Students are given formative and summative feedback on their performance by faculty members (and residents) at the mid- and end-points of each primary clinical experience.
Didactic experiences benefit from the combined nature of the clerkship. Students participate in didactic sessions in both Neurology and Psychiatry. The sessions are designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of each discipline and, more importantly, to facilitate student clinical problem solving, pattern recognition skills, and diagnostic acumen through a case-based learning environment. Didactic experiences are generally scheduled at the end of the day so that students may maximize their clinical experiences at their primary clinical settings.
Supplemental learning experiences are also offered over the course of the clerkship. These experiences are designed to supplement the primary clinical experiences and allow students access to a broader range of patients, diagnoses, and healthcare environments. Students participate in 2 supplemental experiences in both Neurology and Psychiatry. The experiences include specialty outpatient clinics in Neurology (e.g., neuromuscular disorders) and forensic, outpatient, and community clinics/activities in Psychiatry. Students are given feedback on their performance by members of the healthcare team at the conclusion of each supplemental learning experience.
At the conclusion of the clerkship, students must take the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject examinations in Neurology and Psychiatry. These examinations are offered on the final Friday of the clerkship.
Students are evaluated in Neurology and Psychiatry using three different methods:
- Clinical performance evaluations
- Supplemental learning experience evaluations
- Scores on the NBME subject examinations
With respect to clinical performance evaluations, students are evaluated by faculty members (and, in some cases, resident physicians) at each primary clinical setting relative to the objectives of the Neurology and Psychiatry clerkship:
- General knowledge (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- History taking skills (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Physical examination skills (Neurology)
- General knowledge of psychopharmacology (Psychiatry)
- Procedures (Neurology)
- Mental status examination skills (Psychiatry)
- Selection, organization, and recording of clinical data (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Differential diagnosis skills (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Diagnostic and therapeutic program planning (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Professionalism (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Motivation and attitude (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Patient rapport (Neurology and Psychiatry)
- Healthcare team rapport (Neurology and Psychiatry)
Students receive one grade for Neurology and one grade for Psychiatry. For each discipline, the clinical performance evaluations, supplemental learning experience evaluations, and NBME subject examination score are weighted and combined to create a total score on which grades are based. The distributions of grades for both Neurology and Psychiatry conform to the established policy for the SLU School of Medicine Phase 3 curriculum: up to 25% may earn the grade of Honors in a course and up to 25% may earn the grade of Near Honors in a course. The Department of Neurology & Psychiatry is committed to the education of our students. Our emphasis on clinical knowledge, skills, and behaviors in a case-based learning environment is designed to provide students with an engaging, informative, and professional experience to further their development toward being effective, skilled, and concerned physicians.