Medical Student Training

The UT Southwestern Medical School curriculum provides clerkships to various clinical care settings in the third and fourth years. Your psychiatry clerkship will last six weeks and will take place at one of our clinical care sites, as well as the Parkland Memorial Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Room. 

Dual-Site Method

Like other clerkships, you will have a mentored clinical experience with residents and faculty attending physicians in a clinical care environment. However, our psychiatry clerkship will challenge you by exposing you to multiple settings. Too often, students receive a narrow clinical exposure to the field by spending all of their six-week time in one setting, such as the inpatient unit. To broaden your view of psychiatry, we have developed a dual-site method that enables students to rotate through two different clinical locations. 

You will be assigned to one of seven "primary" sites, the selection of which will be based on consultation with you and your faculty advisor. You will perform most of your clinical care and develop your primary teaching relationship at this location. In addition, you will be assigned to at least two secondary sites where you will be exposed to other clinical activities, therapeutic modalities, and patient diagnoses. For example, you may be assigned to the inpatient unit at Parkland as your primary site, but you will also go on rounds with the consultation-liaison team several times over the six weeks, as well as serve on night duty in the Parkland Psychiatric Emergency Service.

UT Southwestern is one of only 20 institutions where you could have a complete education in psychiatry and training in any of the accredited psychiatric subspecialties. The Medical Center also places special emphasis on developing research skills and experience in medical students, providing such opportunities as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Faculty and Residents as Resources

After completing your psychiatry clerkship and coursework, you will have met and developed a relationship with our psychiatric attending physicians and residents. These people are personal and professional resources for you; they will be eager to answer your questions and direct you to other helpful people.

In addition, Adam Brenner, M.D., Vice Chair for Education in Psychiatry, would welcome an opportunity to meet with you. Dr. Brenner organizes a luncheon each fall for MS4s to overview psychiatric careers and residency training. in August if you are interested to ensure you are on the invitation list.

Brain and Behavior Course

The very highly regarded medical school course Brain and Behavior is led by the Department of Psychiatry under the direction of Adriane dela Cruz, M.D., Ph.D. It is a foundational experience for all medical students at UT Southwestern, who will go on to be doctors of every specialty, and it is an inspiration for many who are now applying for residency training in psychiatry.

Award-Winning Faculty

Lia Thomas, M.D. (pictured left), won the 2022 Scholarly Publication Award from the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) for her article "What Should Faculty Advisors Know Before Advising Students Applying to Psychiatry Residency."

Adriane dela Cruz, M.D., Ph.D. (pictured right), received ADMSEP's 2022 Devneil Vaidya Junior Faculty Teaching Award in recognition of her enthusiastic approach to medical student education and leadership in curricular innovation and received the 2022 ADMSEP Innovation in Medical Education Award for the project BRAINival Toxidrome-apalooza.