Undergraduate Medical Education Programs:

Fundamentals of Medicine I: Human Behavior Course (First Year Students)

This year-long interdisciplinary course is composed of Human Values L, Human Behavior, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, and the Clinical Preceptorship. These courses form the foundation for core primary care clinical skills. Each of the four components has a course director and explicit requirements for completion. There are also interdisciplinary elements which include explicit instruction in basic clinical and communication skills that are linked (and precede) the Clinical Preceptorship. There will be a mix of lecture, discussion, skills sessions, clinical sessions, and small group experiences. Smoking Cessation Clinical Skills Lab Exercise and Communication Skills Field Experience with a geriatric population provide an opportunity for students to develop their interview skills.
Course Directors: Marietta Collins, Ph.D., and Nicole Cotton, M.D.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSM.

Fundamentals of Medicine II: Psychopathology Course (Second Year Students)

This course covers the epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. There is an emphasis on the interface of psychiatric medicine and physical medicine. Students are introduced to techniques of psychiatric and psychological assessment, of the most common psychiatric disorders, emergencies, crisis intervention, and psychopharmacology. A survey of the relationship of psychiatry and the applied behavioral sciences to other disciplines A major goal of the course is to provide the students, the knowledge necessary for the successful completion of the third year clinical clerkship.
Course Director: Quentin T. Smith, M.D.
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Fundamentals of Medicine I, Human Behavior

Third Year Clerkship

This is a six-week rotation during the third year.  Emphasis is on the clinical applications of principles of psychiatry and aberrant behavior learned in the first two years.  Students are exposed to a variety of  inpatient and outpatient  services.  Students are assigned rotations at Ridgeview Institution, a psychiatric service facility  in Atlanta; Grady Memorial Hospital Outpatient Mental Health Services; Georgia Regional Hospital, a public psychiatric facilty in metropolitan Atlanta and New Horizons, a psychiatric service facility in Columbus, Ga.  These facilities offer exposure to a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Clinical responsibilites include performing admission histories and psychiatric examinations, developing a comprehensive psychiatric differential diagnosis, creating a biopsychosocial case formulation, and actively participating in the psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment and management of patients. At each site, students work alongside faculty and residents who provide clinical pearls through daily bedside teaching. Students attend and participate  in rounds and ward teaching conferences.  Students also participate in group therapy to gain further insight into the psychiatric problems of patients and families.  A lecture series addresses clinical aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders.  Some selected topics were interviewing skills, emergency psychiatry, behavioral medicine, psychopharmacology, suicide, substance abuse, anxiety, cognitive and personality disorders, forensic issues, and child and adolescent psychiatry. 
Course Director: Nicole Cotton, M.D. and Quentin T. Smith, M.D. Associate Clerkship Director
Prerequisite: Promotion to the third year

Psychiatry Electives (Fourth Year Students)

  1. Academic Psychiatry
    This one-month elective includes a mentor assignment with weekly meetings and is designed to expose students to the career path of academic psychiatry.   This will include research, design and development, preparing teaching modules, scholarly publications and presentations, curricular design and assessment.  
    Course Director: Gilberte Bastien, Ph.D.ut
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Third-Year Psychiatry Clerkship. 

  2. Forensic Psychiatry
    The course in Forensic Psychiatry is a one month elective available to psychiatry residents and to 4th year medical students. During this elective participant will have learning opportunities in criminal and civil aspects of forensic psychiatry in a variety of settings.
    Course Director: Sarah Vinson, M.D.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Third-Year Psychiatry Clerkship. 

  3. Addiction Psychiatry
    This is a four-week elective offered to M4 students who have a strong interest in the "Addictive Disorders" and mental illness.  The elective consists of educational training at some of the many inpatient and outpatient facilities in the Atlanta area.  This includes halfway houses and residential programs at various hospitals.  Students also will gain a rich outpatient experience at multiple clinical sites, including Grady outpatient and MAOT (Medication Assisted Opioid Treatment) clinic and other local substance Abuse prevention and treatment facilities.  The importance of a team approach will be stressed in multiple settings.  Coordination of care will be an integral part of this learning experience.  Coordination of care may involve individuals who have HIV or hepatitis  and who are pregnant.  The student will learn to manage substance disorders and their interaction with co-morbid and co-existing mental and physical disorders.  On-site didactic will supplement and enhance the clinical experience.  The student will have the opportunity to explore and utilize both pharmacological and non-pharmacological management o the substance disorders. 
    Course Director: Farzana Bharmal, M.D., Course Co-Director: Aalok Chandora, M.D.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Third-Year Psychiatry Clerkship. 

  4. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry This is a four-week elective offered to M4 students. Whatever field of medicine one chooses, it is likely that the physician will have some contact, either directly or indirectly, with adolescent patients. It will often be necessary to have not only a working knowledge of physical problems of the adolescent patient, but with the behavioral and emotional problems as well. A rotation on an adolescent outpatient and/or inpatient service provides the medical student the opportunity to have an intense learning experience with a variety of adolescents who have a wide assortment of disorders. It is important for the medical student to be provided with a comprehensive and advanced educational elective experience dealing with emotionally disturbed adolescents and their families. The student will gain knowledge of the psychodynamics of families resulting in the acting-out behavior and/or addictive behavior and emotional turmoil of adolescents. The student will expand his/her knowledge in the areas of interviewing, developmental theory, diagnostic assessment, management and specific treatments, including the nuances of psychopharmacology in the adolescent age group. The student will expand his/her skills in adolescents.
    Course Director: Quentin T. Smith, M.D.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Third-Year Psychiatry Clerkship. 

  5. Community Psychiatry
    This is a four-week elective offered to M4 students. There is a tremendous need to increase the interest and exposure of medical students to community psychiatry and to understand the role of community mental health in primary care. The concept of community psychiatry is one that places an emphasis on understanding the social and community variables that impact on patient care. Patients in community mental health centers often have complex medical and psychiatric needs and represent an underserved population. This elective will provide the medical student with an in-depth experience in evaluating and treating patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders utilizing a biopsychosocial approach and interagency collaboration. This four-week rotation will utilize both traditional and non-traditional settings. An emphasis will be placed on understanding cultural issues in mental health and disorders that disproportionately affect minority populations. The rotation is designed for students who will enter primary care or psychiatry. Students will be exposed to all age groups, including children, adolescents, families, adults, and geriatric patients. The rotation also involves patients with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
    Course Director: Aalok Chandora, M.D., Course Co-Director: Deirdre Cosby, M.D.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Third-Year Clerkship.