Psychiatry in the Harvard Medical School—Cambridge Integrated Clerkship: An Innovative, Year-Long Program
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The authors present what is to their knowledge the first description of a model for longitudinal third-year medical student psychiatry education.
A longitudinal, integrated psychiatric curriculum was developed, implemented, and sustained within the Harvard Medical School-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship. Curriculum elements include longitudinal mentoring by attending physicians in an outpatient psychiatry clinic, exposure to the major psychotherapies, psychopharmacology training, acute psychiatry “immersion” experiences, and a variety of clinical and didactic teaching sessions.
The longitudinal psychiatry curriculum has been sustained for 8 years to-date, providing effective learning as demonstrated by OSCE scores, NBME shelf exam scores, written work, and observed clinical work. The percentage of students in this clerkship choosing psychiatry as a residency specialty is significantly greater than those in traditional clerkships at Harvard Medical School and greater than the U.S. average.
Longitudinal integrated clerkship experiences are effective and sustainable; they offer particular strengths and opportunities for psychiatry education, and may influence student choice of specialty.
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