Medical Student Education
Message from the Director
Welcome to the Medical Student Education Program at the McGovern Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Our department is dedicated to providing students with a rich clinical experience in psychiatry as an integral part of a comprehensive medical education. Students of all specialty choices are prepared to understand and address the unique needs of patients with mental health disorders in their future practice or to continue their training in a psychiatry residency program after graduation.
The greatest strength of our program lies in the deep commitment to medical student teaching by our faculty, fellows and residents. We are proud that eighteen of our faculty members were recognized by receiving McGovern Medical School Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards in 2017. Our faculty provide excellent student training as they treat the diverse Houston patient population at several training sites, including UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC), Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building (BBSB), Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital.
We are honored that that our educational programs consistently receive excellent student evaluations, and that each year a large number of graduating students at McGovern Medical School choose to pursue psychiatry residency training. We are excited by your interest in our department and would welcome the opportunity to provide you with guidance and mentorship in educational opportunities in psychiatry.
First year students at McGovern Medical School receive introductory lectures on the basics of psychiatric interviewing during the Foundations and Doctoring courses. Students have the opportunity to interview real patients under faculty supervision during two small group sessions. Students interested in psychiatry are encouraged to join the Student Interest Group in Neurology and Psychiatry (SIGN/P), which provides social opportunities to meet psychiatry faculty and residents as well as lecture series on neuroscience topics. First year medical students interested in summer research opportunities in our department are encouraged to apply for the Saltzberg Research Program. Further information can be found here.
Second year students receive an intensive education in psychiatric disorders and treatments through the Nervous System and Behavior Module, which is jointly taught by the departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Neurology and Neurobiology & Anatomy. This course utilizes a combination of lectures, small group activities, and clinical experiences to provide students with a clinically-focused foundation in psychiatry and the neurosciences.
Third year students rotate through the Psychiatry Clerkship, a 6-week clinical experience providing extensive hands-on clinical training in psychiatric evaluation and assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning. Students have the opportunity to rotate through general psychiatric services as well as specialty services including geriatrics, consultation-liaison and child and adolescent psychiatry. Students are provided with a varied didactic education through lectures, Team-Based Learning (TBL), journal clubs and case conferences.
Fourth year students interested in additional training in psychiatry can choose from a large number of selective and elective options, including rotations in psychopharmacology, pediatric bipolar disorders, treatment refractory mood disorders, and many others. Students planning on applying for psychiatric training will have access to extensive personalized faculty guidance in navigating the residency application process. Elective descriptions can be found here
Our program welcomes visiting fourth year students interested in our elective opportunities. All visiting student applications are received and processed through the McGovern Medical School’s Student Affairs office. The “Important information regarding the Visit Student Application Service (VSAS)” forms are available at Admissions & Student Affairs. All requests must be entered into the VSAS application in order to determine availability and grant acceptance.
For more information contact: