EVMS Psychiatry Undergraduate Medical Education courses

First Year: Human Development (required; second semester)

The course is designed to provide the student with a broad overview of human development from birth to death. A firm acquisition of the principles of normative development throughout the lifespan is seen as an essential framework within which subsequent clinical contacts can be conceptualized and understood. The life cycle will be examined longitudinally along specific developmental themes as well as cross-sectionally by developmental periods.

Course Directors: Kathrin Hartman, Ph.D. and Maria Urbano, M.D.

Second Year: Psychopathology (required; second semester)

The course designed to provide the student with a general overview of psychopathology. Material presented, in conjunction with information learned in Human Development, should prepare the student for the clinical demands of the third and fourth years of study. Topics have been selected to equip the students with a better understanding of functional and dysfunctional human behavior, the role of society, family environment, biology, and genetics in the development of psychopathology, and the need to treat all patients as a "person" first and foremost.

Course Directors: Ed Gatewood, M.D., and Richard Handel, Ph.D.

Third Year: Clerkship in Psychiatry (required)

Students receive clerkship training at one of the teaching sites of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Psychiatric Consultation Service, Eastern State Hospital, Hampton VA Medical Center, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, and Portsmouth Naval Hospital Consultation Service.

The goals of the clerkships include developing the ability to recognize people having significant mental difficulties, to recognize how one's own feelings and attitudes affect one's ability to evaluate and treat people in distress, and to begin to understand the treatments available for these problems. This is achieved through direct experience with psychiatric interviewing, development of treatment plans, supervision of these activities by faculty and residents, as well as through weekly didactics.

Clerkship Program Director: Greg Briscoe, M.D.
Assistant Director: Lisa Fore-Arcand, Ed.D.

Fourth Year: Substance Abuse Rotation (1 week, remedial required)

This course is designed to help students develop a knowledge of and skills for the identification, evaluation, and treatment of individuals with Substance-Related Disorders. This will be achieved through the exposure to such patients in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings and by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Course Coordinators: Kathleen Stack, M.D. and Lisa Fore Arcand, Ed.D.

Fourth Year Electives:

PSY 404: Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry (four-week elective)
The student will be exposed to the branch of Psychiatry specializing in the care of the medically ill patient with psychiatric symptoms. The student will participate as an integral member of the consultation team. The rotation takes place a Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The students will be expected to evaluate, present and write up psychiatric consults. The students will work closely with the residents and attendings, will attend treatment team rounds, follow-up on assigned cases, and attend conferences and grand rounds. Students may also be exposed to subspecialty areas within consultation psychiatry including Geriatric Psychiatry and Sleep Disorders.

David Spiegel, M.D.


PSY 407: Acting Internship in Psychiatry (4-, 6-, or 8-week elective)
The purpose of the course is to provide increasing amounts of responsibility for treating psychiatric inpatients. The student will act as an intern with primary responsibility for patient care including evaluation and treatment.

Alaa-Eldin M. Mahmoud, M.D., Veterans Administration or
Christine Steinhagen, M.D., Sentara Norfolk General Hospital


PSY 408: Addiction Psychiatry (4-week elective)
The students will be exposed to the branch of Psychiatry specializing in the evaluation and treatment of Alcoholism and other Substance Abuse and Dependence. The students will participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team. The rotation takes place at the Hampton VA Medical Center in an intensive outpatient care setting. The students will be expected to actively participate in providing treatment in program activities including: Assessment, Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Community Meetings, Family Counseling, etc.

Edwin Nieves, M.D.


PSY 411 Sleep Disorders (4-week elective)
The course will expose students to evaluation and treatment of patients of all ages presenting with sleep disorders at the Sleep Disorder Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The course will require interaction with the disciplines of Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, Neurology, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychology.

Sleep Disorders Center Staff


PSY 412: Psychiatry (4-week elective)
Location: VA Medical Center, Hampton
This course is designed for seniors wishing a sub-internship experience in inpatient psychiatry prior to beginning residency in psychiatry. However, students entering the primary-care field who want further experience recognizing and assessing mental illness should also apply. Cases of greater interest in maximizing the educational objectives and that meet the student interests will be selected. Particular areas of interest can include alcohol/drug dependency/withdrawal, psychosis, dementia, mania, anxiety, depression or personality disorders. The Biopsychosocial Model is used with a crisis intervention approach. Brief stabilization is followed by return to the community or non-acute level of care. Under the psychiatrist’s supervision, the student would be responsible for assessing the patient and implementing their own treatment plan. The student would follow the response to treatment, updating or modifying the plan as required.

Alaa-Eldin Mahmoud, M.D.


PSY 413 Emergency Psychiatry (4-week elective)
The student will be assigned primarily to the Emergency Room at the Hampton VA Medical Center and be responsible for seeing patients who present with urgent psychiatric problems. Under the supervision of an attending psychiatrist, the student will work directly with Emergency Department staff in assessing, managing and formulating diagnoses.

Martha S. Guyon, M.D.


PSY 414: Outpatient/Geriatric Psychiatry (4-week elective)

The student will be exposed to various "out of hospital" settings, including office assessments and nursing-home consultations. In the office setting, the student will evaluate and discuss cases with the attending physician at EVMS-Hofheimer Hall. Common diagnoses would include, but not be limited to, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and cognitive disorders.

The student will also be involved in psychiatric consultations at the Beth Shalom Home of Eastern Virginia, an approximately 125-bed facility in Virginia Beach. Set up to be a teaching facility, the student will be involved in assessing new and existing patients at the nursing home with psychiatric diagnoses. At this location, the student will be responsible for doing initial evaluations on consulted patients and will then discuss the case with the attending physicians. The student will also make rounds with the attending physician. By being an active member of the treatment team, the student will be exposed to patients with delirium and dementia, with resultant behavioral disturbances, including agitation, psychoses and affective states. The student will also attend conferences and grand rounds.

David R. Spiegel, M.D.


PSY 415: Managing the Severely Mentally Ill (2-week elective)
Location: Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board, Hampton

Students will follow the psychiatrist seeing the severely mentally ill in an outpatient setting. The student will see different types of mental illness and learn ways to manage them. Each patient’s clinical management will be discussed, so that the student will learn what severe mental illness is, the challenges the severely mentally ill face day to day, medication management of mental illness, behavioral approaches and about the mental-health system in Virginia.

Matthew S. Angelelli, M.D.


PSY 416: Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry) (4-week elective)
Location: Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth

Consultation-Liaison (C-L) psychiatry is a branch of psychiatry that entails consultation to medically and surgically ill hospitalized patients, education of students and clinicians of all disciplines, and research.  The setting for the practice of C-L psychiatry is the general hospital.  NMCP is a 366-bed general hospital. Fourth-year medical students will learn key elements in an effective C-L team: Ability to conduct mental status exam and interpret findings in conjunction with laboratory and neuro-imaging; capacity to assess the potential for suicidality, aggression and agitation within a medical-surgical setting; and ability to work with and clearly communicate findings and recommendations to non-psychiatric physicians, other health care workers and families.

Usual coverage during duty hours for C-L service pager is 0730-1600.  Medical students' duty hours will be 0730-1700.  Rounds are from 1400-1600 daily. Students will be exposed to "talking papers" as a form of learning and teaching others during rounds. Talking Papers are a quick reference outline on key points of an oral briefing.

Hamid R. Tavakoli, M.D.