New Idea

Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 66-70

First online:

An Interviewing Course for a Psychiatry Clerkship

  • Angela NuzzarelloAffiliated withOffice of Medical Education and Faculty Development, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Catherine BirndorfAffiliated withWeill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital

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Objective: Taking a psychiatric history is a key educational objective in the psychiatry clerkship. Medical students arrive on psychiatry clerkships unprepared for the unique challenges of psychiatric interviewing. This paper describes an interviewing course for psychiatry clerks that combines practice, observation, and feedback in a small group setting. Methods: A quasi -experimental cohort design with medical student self-ratings as the dependent variable. Results: Students’ self-perceived skill in interviewing and differential diagnosis improved more than students who did not have the interviewing course. Students’ self-perceived skills also correlated significantly with the number of times they observed interviews. Conclusion: Clerkship directors in psychiatry should provide students with opportunities to practice interviewing skills, observe interviews, and receive feedback.