The HMS Department of Psychiatry recognizes the vital importance of psychiatric education in the medical student curriculum and plays a dynamic role in the teaching of medical students at Harvard Medical School. In addition to the preclinical course Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and the Core Psychiatry Clerkship, psychiatry faculty and residents actively participate in a variety of required multidisciplinary courses and evaluations throughout the four year curriculum, some of which include the Practice of Medicine, longitudinal seminars in the second year Principal Clinical Experience, and the Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCE). A wide range of psychiatry electives are offered across diverse sites. Psychiatry faculty also serve as research and clinical mentors.
Required and Elective Courses
Mind, Brain, and Behavior is a core integrated preclerkship course on the nervous system and behavior. MBB integrates content that was previously covered in separate courses that ran contemporaneously in the curriculum (Human Systems: Nervous System and Behavior, Psychopathology and Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry). The design team for MBB identified core content that needed to be learned prior to the principal clinical year and created class sessions that matched the most appropriate pedagogical methods and teaching settings with the material to be covered. Thus, students learn brain anatomy using hands-on dissection of human specimens, close study of anatomical models, and exercises in clinical neurology; they learn the approach to psychiatric interviewing through both didactic sessions and small-group visits to mental health facilities led by clinical preceptors.
Students participate in the Core Psychiatry Clerkship through the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) they are assigned to at:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) with courses offered on the BIDMC campus and at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center;
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) with courses offered through BWH/Faulkner and at McLean Hospital;
- Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) with courses offered on the MGH campus or at the Cambridge Health Alliance;
- the Cambridge Integrated Clerkship (CIC) at the Cambridge Health Alliance, with a longitudinal experience in psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance
Clerkship assignments are available on inpatient units, consult-liaison services, and partial hospital programs. Weekly didactics foster growing competence in the understanding, assessment and multi-modal treatment of individuals with major psychiatric disorders as well as individuals with psychiatric presentations in the context of other medical illnesses. The clerkship emphasizes small group and individual supervision with attending faculty. Standardized expectations and assessments across clerkship sites support uniform teaching objectives while unique areas of expertise and patient populations within each rotation often allow for experiences that enrich a student’s particular interests and goals.
In addition to the required MBB course and Core Psychiatry Clerkship, a broad range of psychiatry electives are available to Harvard Medical students and visiting students, including advanced clinical experiences in inpatient, consult-liaison, child and adolescent, emergency and addiction psychiatry, history of psychiatry, psychosocial oncology and palliative care. For further information, students may consult the list of psychiatry electives in the Harvard Medical School course catalog. Harvard students may also contact the directors of medical student education in psychiatry for assistance in arranging for individualized mentored clinical and research experiences. Visiting medical students are welcome to apply for many of the psychiatry electives but must make arrangements through the Office of the Registrar.
Psychiatry Student Interest Group
An active Psychiatry Student Interest Group (PSIG) holds lunch talks on a variety of topics. The Group also sponsors informational and social activities throughout the year, including a dinner with Psychiatry Residency Training Directors, various speaker panels, and a Welcome Party for medical students interested in Psychiatry.
To receive Psychiatry-related announcements for HMS events and psychiatry residency application guidance, submit a request here to join the PSIG listserv (eCommons login credentials required).
The junior PSIG medical student leaders for 2020-2021 are Jamie Baik, Grace Cavanaugh, Meghana Vagwala, and Taylor Zabel; the senior PSIG medical student leaders are Sam Petrie and Lucas Wittman. The PSIG faculty mentors for adult psychiatry are Justin Chen, MD, MPH, and Gaston Baslet, MD, and the faculty mentors for child psychiatry are Chase Samsel, MD, and Christine Wittmann, MD.
Donald J. Cohen Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The HMS Department of Psychiatry is proud to offer selected medical students who may be interested in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry an opportunity to participate in the Donald J. Cohen Klingenstein Fellowship in Child Psychiatry (program info sheet), funded by the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation.
The Fellowship offers students the opportunity to explore the field of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in a flexible manner. Based on individual interests, students may be connected with general child and adolescent psychiatrists, including residents and faculty, across Harvard-affiliated hospitals with the potential to take part in clinical experiences. It is open to all HMS students with no formal obligation. For additional information, please contact the HMS Klingenstein Program Director, Khadijah Watkins, MD [email@example.com].
If you would like to receive announcments about events related to the HMS Klingenstein program, you can submit a request here to join the Klingenstein listserv (eCommons login credentials required).
Interested applicants should visit the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to learn more about careers in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. There is also a Facebook group for the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Medical Student Program.
The Kettyle Award is named in honor of Dr. Cynthia N. Kettyle who served as director of medical student education in psychiatry at HMS from 1993 to 2004 in addition to serving as director of medical student education at McLean Hospital. She is known throughout the HMS community for her efforts to promote excellence in psychiatric education, her exceptional commitment to the well-being and training of medical students, and her tireless dedication to the art of teaching psychiatry.
Cynthia N. Kettyle Teaching Awardees:
2004 Cynthia Kettyle, MD
2005 Mary Anne Badaracco, MD
2006 Alfred Margulies, MD
2007 Christine Kim, MD
2008 Jonathan Alpert, PhD, MD and Steven Schlozman, MD
2009 Eliza Menninger, MD
2010 Robert Goisman, MD and Michael Kahn, MD
2011 Eugene Beresin, MD
2012 Todd Griswold, MD
2013 Stuart Beck, MD and Brent Forester, MD
2014 Donna Greenberg, MD
2015 John Peteet, MD
2016 Lior Givon, PhD, MD
2017 Fernando Rodriguez-Villa, MD, and Theodore Stern, MD
2018 John Sharp, MD
2019 Fremonta Meyer, MD and Michael Mufson, MD
2020 Elizabeth Dunn, MD, and John Fromson, MD
The award is named in honor of Jonathan F. Borus MD, the Stanley Cobb Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus Chair of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women’s and Faulkner Hospitals, Director of Medical Education at BWH and Co-Chair of the Partners Education Committee, who has exerted a major and lasting impact on psychiatric undergraduate and graduate education. In addition to being a master educator and educational leader, Dr. Borus is known widely for his generous mentorship and outspoken advocacy for generations of trainees who themselves have made important contributions to medical education.
2018 Elisa Cheng, MD and Alex Keuroghlian, MD, MPH
2019 Justin Chen, MD, MPH, and Christine Wittmann, MD
1993 Alfred Margulies, MD
1994 Cynthia Kettyle, MD
1995 Susan Block, MD
1997 Sharon Weinstein, MD
1998 Ken Duckworth, M.D. and Michael Mufson, MD
1999 Robert Goisman, MD
2001 John Sharp, MD
2005 Mary Anne Badaracco, MD
2006 Steven Schlozman, MD
2007 Jonathan Alpert, MD, PhD
2008 Thomas Gutheil, MD, and Michael Kahn, MD
2009 Donna Greenberg, MD, and Karen Greenberg, MD
2010 Todd Griswold, MD, and John Peteet, MD
2011 Lior Givon, PhD, MD, and Steve Seiner, MD
2012 Fremonta Meyer, MD, and John Roseman, MD
2013 Xenia Johnson Bhembe, MD, and Robert Kitts, MD
2014 Jennifer Greenwold, MD, and Marisol Segundo, MD
Stuart Hauser Mentorship Awardees:
2008 Robert Waldinger, MD
2009 Jill Goldstein, PhD
2010 Larry Seidman, PhD
2011 Martha Shenton, PhD
2012 Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD
2013 Matcheri Keshavan, MD
2014 David Gitlin, MD
2015 David Osser, MD
2016 Jennifer Moye, PhD
2017 Grace Chang, MD, and Diego Pizzagalli, PhD
2018 William Greenberg, MD, and Thomas Gutheil, MD
2019 John Bradley, MD, Hadine Joffe, MD, and Jeff Huffman, MD