Psychiatry, Adult Outpatient (Minnesota)


Students are assigned to Mayo's Outpatient Psychiatry Service in the Baldwin Building under the direct supervision of a staff adult psychiatrist. This service functions as the primary outpatient adult psychiatry referral source for all types of psychiatric outpatient services, including individual, marital and, at times, chemical dependency evaluations. Students observe residents performing evaluations and are given the opportunity to conduct the primary evaluation of various outpatient psychiatric problems, including affective illness, thought disorders, adjustment disorders and the evaluation of organically based mental illness.

Specific goals

  1. Expand basic understanding of psychiatry as a specialty area.
  2. Improve skills in establishing patient rapport, conducting psychiatric interviews, and identifying psychodynamic issues
  3. Obtain an introduction to psychotherapy.
  4. Gain experience in the initiation and maintenance of patients on psychotropic medication.
  5. Discuss cases referred to the outpatient setting by nonpsychiatric physicians, and then work out treatment plans with those physicians.

Activity outline

Students are assigned to participate in the evaluation of new outpatient referrals. Some patients treated by students are local people while other patient referrals are made for the purpose of consultation and continue to receive their care elsewhere. All of the patients' workups are staffed under the direct supervision of the adult psychiatry staff.

Each week, two half-days are set aside for medication clinic patients. Students may participate in the re-evaluation of patients maintained on psychotropic medication and for whom medication is the primary treatment modality. Attendance at daily supervision sessions is expected. Outside of direct clinical supervision, students have weekly individual supervision with the clerkship coordinator.

Method of evaluation

Toward the end of the elective, students conduct a live patient interview while being observed and have the opportunity for feedback about their interviewing style. A performance review also is provided at the end of the elective.