Educational Activities

Seminar Series for the Clerkship

All students are required to attend a seminar series according to the Wednesday Didactic schedule. Topics and lecturers for the lecture series may vary slightly according to patients who are seen and other unforeseen circumstances.  Students should check their e-mail daily for any updates.

Textbooks are provided by the UNC SOM Asheville. Students should read the section(s) pertaining to the upcoming lecture(s) in one of the recommended textbooks prior to each week's session.    Handouts and Power Point presentations are available in the Resources section of the regular UNC SOM Psychiatry Clerkship website. Students should look for those relevant to each day's lecture topic in advance of the lecture.

Attendance at seminars is required of all students unless excused in advance.

Other Educational Activities

The students will be assigned new patient evaluations each week and will see them along with the psychiatry mentor.  A variety of approaches will be used:

  1. The student may observe the mentor interview the patient and formulate a treatment plan with the patient then discuss the case afterward.
  2. The student may interview the patient with the mentor observing and then together formulate a treatment plan and present it to the patient.
  3. The student may interview the patient alone and then present to their mentor, who will then see the patient and discuss the case with the student.
  4. Patients will be seen in follow up with the student first assessing the patient’s progress, presenting the case to their mentor and then seeing the patient together.


The students will visit an inpatient unit and spend an afternoon shadowing an inpatient psychiatrist.

The student will observe at least one ECT treatment.

The student will visit an inpatient substance abuse inpatient facility and will discuss detoxification approaches and various models of rehabilitation.

The student will visit a community based crisis stabilization unit to understand its role in preventing state hospital admissions.

Case Write-ups, Reflection Paper, ECT Observation & Seminar Participation

Case Write-ups

Students will each turn in one case write-up to their assigned faculty member on the afternoon of the third Friday of November and the third Friday of February. The faculty will make evaluate the case reports and return them to the students the following week with comments.

The write-up should include identifying data, chief complaint, history of present illness, past psychiatric history, past medical history, family history, detailed personal/social history, and a complete mental status examination. This should be followed by a discussion of the complete differential diagnosis (Axis I & Axis II) and outline of a treatment plan (biological, psychological and social).

Reflection Paper: The Role of Culture in Counter transference


Enhance cultural sensitivity via the exploration of counter transference issues in the physician-patient relationship.

  • Encourage exploration of one’s own cultural issues—ethnicity, socioeconomic, family, etc.—in understanding counter transference.
  • Improve understanding of working with patients who are challenging, e.g., with values that conflict with the student’s values, cultural differences, communication issues, non-adherence to treatment, engagement in non-health-promoting behaviors.
  • Become more comfortable in dealing with personal issues related to the care of patients who generate negative counter transference.


Each student will submit a 1-2 typed page reflection paper that explores one or more of the following topics:

  • Counter transference issues encountered during the clerkship with an individual patient, with discussion of one’s own cultural issues and those of the patient that may relate to the counter transference.
  • Management of counter transference issues in the work on the clerkship, with discussion of exploration of personal and patient cultural issues.
  • Discussion of how cultural issues may impact challenges in the physician-patient relationship, citing one or more examples of this experienced or observed during the clerkship.

Format of the paper is flexible; can be in essay, narrative, or other format. The papers are to be submitted to Stephen Buie, M.D. who will provide feedback over the following four weeks on an individual basis.

ECT Observation

Students must observe at least one ECT treatment during their clerkship.  Optimally, they will observe ECT in a patient they have evaluated.  If not enough patients are available for that then they will be assigned a day to observe.