Medical Students

The Psychiatry Department and each of its sub-specialties are fully committed to medical students’ education. The Medical Student Clerkship Director at the Department of Psychiatry is Dr. Silvina Tonarelli.

The Psychiatric Clerkship is combined with Internal Medicine and for a period of 16 weeks, the third-year medical students are exposed to an excellent experience in the different areas of psychiatry.

During the clerkship rotation, medical students have the opportunity to evaluate patients with mental health disorders in different settings.

In outpatient clinics, the students rotate in:

  • General Psychiatry
  • Mood Disorder Clinic
  • Child and Adolescent Clinic
  • Geriatric Clinic
  • Neuropsychiatric Clinic
  • Substance Use Disorder Clinic
  • Community Clinics

In inpatient setting, the students rotate in:

  • Inpatient psychiatric hospital at El Paso Psychiatric Center
  • Clinical Liaison Services at University Medical Center and El Paso Children Hospital

Third Year medical students during the rotation will learn:

  • How to perform a psychiatric interview in adults as well as in children and adolescent including a mental status description.
  • Be familiar with instruments and scales used in this population.
  • Be aware of the main psychiatric diagnosis and indication for psychiatric hospitalization.
  • Learn about interface of psychiatric and medical and neurological disorder.

The fourth-year medical students have the opportunity to do elective rotations in subspecialties for a period of 4 weeks.

Electives offered:

  • General psychiatry
  • Clinical Liaison Psychiatry
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Substance Use Rotation

Links for Medical Students:

APA medical student membership

  • Choosing a Career in Psychiatry
  • Applying for Psychiatry Residency
  • Become a Medical Student member

During the first two year of medical school, the students have the opportunity to work under the mentorship of one of the Psychiatry faculty in the Scholarly Activity and Research Program (SARP). This program provides medical students with an opportunity to design and execute independent scholarship or research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. A wide variety of topics and research areas are available in three broad categories, allowing for a project to be tailored to a student’s background and interests: 1) basic clinical and translational research; 2) epidemiology, community-based, behavioral, public and environmental health; and 3) medical humanities, qualitative research and medical education research. All projects must comply with federal and institutional requirements (e.g. IRB and IACUC). The overall goal of the SARP program is to engage and educate medical students on the process of addressing a scholarly or research question.

Examples of SARP Projects with publication as outcome:

  • *Dan I. Blunk, Silvina Tonarelli, Claire Gardner, Dale Quest, Diana Petitt, Marie Leiner. Evaluating Medical Students’ Clinical Reasoning in Psychiatry Using Clinical and Basic Science Concepts Presented in Session-level Integration Sessions. Medical Science Educator doi 10.1007/s40670-019-00761-x July 1, 2019  

Recent APA Awards:

  • William Wise MS4 PLFSOM was recently awarded from APA to participate in an intensive two-day training in HIV AIDS Psychiatry in Washington, D.C. and a month long clinical/research program. The 2020 dates for this program are August 27 – September 25, 2020. The student will receive a stipend of $2,700 that will cover the expenses.
  • Abhinav Mishra, MS4 PLFSOM won an externship in Addiction Medicine from the APA. This program is intended to identify racial/ethnic minority medical students who have an interest in psychiatric services related to substance use disorders, prevention and early intervention.