Psychiatry, Behavioral Medicine (Minnesota)


Students work directly with a consulting psychologist in the evaluation of both inpatients and outpatients with a variety of behavioral medicine problems.

Specific goals

  1. Review the basic principles of cognitive and behavioral psychology.
  2. Improve skills in establishing patient rapport; conducting psychological interviews, including cognitive and behavioral assessments; and making diagnostic formulations.
  3. Learn about the manifestations of anxiety and depression in medical patients and how these symptoms may affect medical treatment outcome.
  4. Formulate, recommend and implement treatment plans.
  5. Gain direct experience in the management of patients through cognitive and behavioral therapy.
  6. Examine the role of a consultant vis-a-vis the "primary" physician.
  7. Experience working in a team with other medical and allied health personnel, gaining an appreciation of the satisfaction attainable as the result of successful total healthcare efforts.

Activity outline

Students are assigned to a behavioral medicine service(s) under the direct supervision of a psychology consultant. They work directly with consultants, psychology assistants or, occasionally, with postdoctoral fellows in psychology. Students respond to consultation requests on the service with the consultant or psychology assistant. They perform clinical workups with an active role in evaluation and the formulation of diagnostic impressions and treatment plans.

In some cases, students may be involved in the actual intervention and are responsible for following patients as needed during their treatment course, within the constraints of the elective. Students also have a one-hour session of individual supervision each week with the appropriate psychology consultant.

Toward the end of the elective, students may have the opportunity to conduct patient assessments while being observed and receive feedback about their cognitive behavioral psychological assessment abilities.

Method of evaluation

A general performance review is provided verbally at the end of the elective.