The Psychiatry Clerkship is a five-week, hands-on experience in general adult psychiatry. The clerkship focuses on developing clinical interviewing, diagnostic, and treatment planning skills.

Students rotate at one of four National Capital Area (NCA) sites or four global sites: Hawaii, San Diego, San Antonio, and Coastal Virginia. Under the supervision of military and civilian psychiatrists, interns, and residents, students learn by doing. All students spend time on psychiatric inpatient wards and psychiatric consultation-liaison services. The focus is on the biopsychosocial approach to understanding and caring for patients, with particular attention to disorders seen in the military treatment setting. Students also spend time learning in substance treatment centers, psychiatric emergency rooms, and acute psychiatric assessment outpatient clinics.

In addition to daily clinical clerkship work with onsite faculty supervision and didactics, students have weekly preceptor meetings outside of their clinical setting with board-certified psychiatrists. Preceptor meetings offer students individualized, longitudinal teaching and feedback with in-depth, one-to-one presentations and discussions of clinical cases. Students improve their interviewing skills weekly by interviewing standardized, simulated patients, receiving faculty, simulated patient, and peer reviews of their performance. Students also have access to the USU clerkship Sakai website, where daily and weekly practice review quizzes, readings, and didactic materials are provided. After completing their psychiatry clerkship and two medicine clerkship rotations, students complete an OSCE and NBME subject examination during a combined assessment week.

The Psychiatry Clerkship is an essential part of the medical school curriculum. It provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their careers as a medical corps officer.



Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Naval Medical Center, San Diego
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth
San Antonio Military Medical Center
Tripler Army Medical Center
Psychiatric Institute of Washington
DC Veterans Administration Hospital


For those medical students desiring additional experience in psychiatry, the Department offers a number of electives and sub-internships. These opportunities include inpatient, outpatient, consult-liaison, research, and education.