The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

Medical Student Education

Third Year Clerkships - Psychiatry

The four-week Psychiatry clerkship is based at Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville, Tennessee. The dedicated psychiatry service at Blount Memorial Hospital is a 16-bed inpatient facility with an active ambulatory consultation service. With the exception of pediatric patients, this service provides a desirable case mix with regards to types of psychiatric disorders thereby ensuring student exposure to the full range of mental health pathologies required to meet the learning objectives.

A clinical director/chief medical officer and four psychiatrists staff the hospital unit. The clerkship co-directors, Drs. Brent Coyle and Paul Miller, have extensive experience in psychiatric education.

Students will have learning experiences with a broad spectrum of mental health disorders presenting for admission from Blount County and surrounding counties. Students will be assigned a cohort of patients and will follow that cohort during the course of their assignment. The participating psychiatrist and treatment team will not change (with rare exception) during the student's rotation on the assigned unit. The treatment team providing learning experiences includes the staff psychiatrist, consultation psychiatrist, coordinator, social workers, activity therapists, nurses and psychiatric technicians.

Student attendance at or acquisition of didactic lectures originating from Memphis is required and takes precedence over scheduled activities at Blount Memorial Hospital. The student is also required to participate in all appropriate patient care conferences held at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Each student will have a required 1/2 day observational leaning experience per four-week clerkship with ECT and one (1) full day learning experience in pediatric psychiatry at sites separate from Blount Memorial as follows:

Learning Objectives

Following this four-week clerkship, students will be able to do the following:

1. Demonstrate basic skills related to psychiatry in the following:

2. Recognize the most common psychiatric disorders and psychopathology including but not limited to the following:

3. Describe strategies for prevention, therapeutic intervention and management of psychiatric disorders such as but not limited to the following:

4. Describe basic issues in psychiatric disorders related to professionalism, ethics and the law.

5. Describe commitment criteria for acute psychiatric disorders and develop an understanding of issues related to involuntary hospitalization.

6. Demonstrate competitive or greater performance on the NBME shelf exam.

7. Acquire a heightened awareness of the role of mental health disorders in altered health and chronic illness


There is a one-night student call responsibility that will begin at the conclusion of the regular workday at 4:30 and concluding at 10:00 -11:00 p.m. during which they will observe and/or participate in a supervised fashion evaluations scheduled with Access Coordinators (LCSW's and RN's who evaluate patients for placement into appropriate services) and emergent evaluations in the ER.

Evaluation & Exam

Exams will be given on the last day of the clerkship. The student's clinical performance will be evaluated by the same criteria as in the Memphis rotation using the same format and evaluation instruments and performance on the NBME psychiatry shelf exam.

Clerkship Faculty

Paul W. Miller, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clerkship Director
Dovile Paulauskas, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Sharon Burnside, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Clifton R. Tennison, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Gordon Greeson, Jr., MD, Clinical Assistant Professor

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