Elective Courses

Our electives let you pursue clinical and research experiences tailored to your interests. You can select intensive experiences in a variety of areas, including emergency psychiatry, child psychiatry and research in psychiatry.

PTY 800 Subinternship in General Psychiatry, 4 credits

This rotation is offered to give students a variety of clinical experiences at psychiatric units of affiliated hospitals. It will involve direct patient care under the supervision of attending psychiatrists and residents and close teamwork with multidisciplinary staff. They will participate in all the clinical rounds of the floor and grand rounds of our department. Upon successful completion of this rotation, students should show competency in the following areas: performing psychiatric assessment and formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan, prescribing common psychotropic drugs and drug combinations, conducting supportive psychotherapy working in collaboration with a mental health team and community resources. 

Prerequisite: Senior medical student and successful completion of PTY 700.  

Modules: A-M, contact the departmental office for site location.

Course Director: Sergio Hernandez, MD

Number of students: 2

PTY 801 Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, 4 credits

Patients often present to their physician with psychiatric illness or emotional problems complicating their physical condition. The objectives of this course are to familiarize students with management of these patients and to help improve their sensitivity and diagnostic/treatment skills, regardless of practice specialty. 

Upon completion, the student should be able to differentiate medical mimics of psychiatric illness, recognize the emotional and the physical components of a patient's condition, be familiar with the emotional reactions to physical illness and role of personality on this reaction and develop and implement an appropriate treatment plan. 

Prerequisite: Senior medical student and completion of PTY 700

Modules: A-M, availability varies per module

Number of students: 1

Contact the department's course coordinator for availability information and registration.

PTY 802 Outpatient Psychiatry, 4 credits

The objectives of this rotation is to provide students with a more in-depth understanding of psychopathology and increased skill in evaluating and treating patients with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses in various outpatient settings.  

This rotation includes time spent in individual sessions, groups, walk-in medication clinic, bipolar clinic, weekly case conference, grand rounds. In addition, there is flexibility in the rotation to include exposure to areas of special interest, including forensics, ACT team research and community mental health. Upon successful completion, students will have improved knowledge and skills in the following areas: (1) evaluating psychiatric patients with appropriate disposition; (2) the outpatient diagnostic interview; (3) psychopathology; (4) psychopharmacological therapy; (5) psychotherapy: individual and group.

Prerequisites: Senior medical student and successful completion of PTY 700 

Modules: A-M, availability varies per module

Number of students: 1

Contact the department's course coordinator for availability information and registration.

PTY 810 Emergency Psychiatry, 4 credits

The objectives of this rotation are to teach students the clinical evaluation of patients in crisis, assessment of patients at risk for violence against self or others and techniques of crisis interventions. 

The student will evaluate patients who come to the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at ECMC. The student's patient assessment and disposition will be reviewed by an attending psychiatrist. When appropriate, the student will follow patients for crisis intervention. 

With successful completion of the course, the student should be able to assess patients in psychiatric crisis in terms of psychiatric diagnosis and contributing psychosocial stressors, assess violence potential and form late treatment planning. In addition, the student will have mastered basic techniques of crisis intervention. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of PTY 700. Senior medical student or junior medical student who has completed PTY 700. Junior medical students to add by drop/add form after registration.

Modules: A-M Blocks: 1-4

Number of students: 1

PTY 820 Clerkship in Child Psychiatry-Clinical Child Psychiatry, 4 credits

The goal of this month is to familiarize students with what a child and adolescent psychiatrist does. This rotation provides a broad exposure to multiple child psychiatric settings.

The core experience involves the student as a participant-observer in a wide variety of in- and out-patient settings, including Oishei Children's Hospital, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (outpatient clinic and consult service), Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center, Erie County Medical Center (adolescent psychiatric unit), Renaissance House (substance abuse), and multiple community sites. Students have the opportunity to work with all core faculty in the division, while seeing a wide variety of patients and families as well as treatment modalities. At the completion of the month the student is expected to write a brief essay on a topic of interest.

Upon completion of the clerkship students will have learned what a clinical child and adolescent psychiatrist does on a day-to-day basis. The student will develop their skill in evaluating children/adolescents and will become familiar with current treatment modalities commonly utilized.

The month can be tailored to accommodate specific interests of individual students. This should be discussed with Elizabeth Sengupta (Child Residency Program Administrator) prior to beginning the rotation. The clinical contact is augmented by scheduled teaching activities.

Prerequisites: Senior medical student and successful completion of PTY 700

Modules: A-M

Number of students: 1

Contact the department's course coordinator for availability information and registration.

PTY 890 Course at Other University, 4 credits

By arrangement with other university and Dr. Sergio Hernandez, Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry.

Prerequisite: Senior medical student, by permission of Dr. Sergio Hernandez and OME

Modules: A-M, contact the departmental office for site location.

PTY 950 Research in Psychiatry, 4 credits

The goal is to introduce the student to one or several varieties of basic and clinical research and educational research approaches currently being used by departmental faculty members. 

The student’s experiences will vary with the specific project and faculty member. In general, the student will become directly involved on a continuing basis in a research project under the supervision of the faculty member. Depending on the project, activities may include one or more of the following elements: development of the rationale of the research; literature reviews; design of the study; data collection, reduction, and analysis; interpretation of results; preparation of a written report.

Upon completion, the students should have acquired facility in planning, executing and integrating research relevant to psychiatry. In most cases, this will enable him or her to be a useful junior member of a research team. He or she should also have acquired an appreciation of the conceptual and technical complexity of rigorous research endeavors in areas of concern to psychiatry. Also open to freshman and sophomore medical students.

Prior to registering for a research elective, students will need to meet with Dr. Milling regarding project and work with the department to find a faculty mentor. Students should discuss project ideas with their mentor and provide a short description of the research they would like to conduct during the elective. Students will then take this description to the department chair and/or course director for approval. After obtaining approval, students will complete a drop/add form, working with the appropriate department/course coordinators and send the completed form to the registrar in order to register for the research elective.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of PTY 700. Senior medical student or junior medical student who has completed PTY 700. Junior medical students can add with a drop/add form after registration, contact coordinator Leanne Hatswell.

Modules: A-M

Number of students: 8