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Psychiatry & Behavioral Science

Interim Chair

Randall F. Moore, M.D., J.D.

Department Information

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science has as its educational objectives teaching the psychological dimensions of the human life cycle, the psychological determinants of the doctor-patient relationship, and basic aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

The first year is devoted to an introduction to behavioral sciences, including factors that influence human development, the doctor-patient relationship, and maintenance of health. An emphasis will be placed on independent reading and developing the student's skills and problem-solving, especially related to problems that arise during the course of treating patients.

The second-year course will provide an introduction to basic knowledge about psychiatric disorders and their effect on an individual patient's life. Emphasis will be placed on clinical reasoning and problems related to assessment and diagnosis, differential diagnosis, treatment planning and clinical management.

The third-year clinical clerkship in psychiatry provides students with closely supervised experience with patients who have psychiatric disorders. The clerkship lasts six weeks, and clinical facilities with a broad variety of patients are used throughout Central Texas. Students will develop their knowledge base of mental disorders and will develop clinical skills in relating to patients, interviewing them, assessing clinical and other characteristics, formulating a diagnosis and implementing a treatment plan. Emphasis also will be placed on developing professional attributes to enable the student to become a capable, conscientious and ethical practitioner.

The fourth year offers a two-week clerkship on drug and alcohol disorders, which is required for all students. The student will develop a general fund of information about disorders of alcohol and other psychoactive substances.

Students will develop skills in assessing, diagnosing and treating acute phases of illness, such as managing withdrawal by detoxification protocols, as well as participating in rehabilitation programs that promote abstinence and restoration of functioning.

Elective courses cover a wide range of options in the fourth year. Established electives in child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation psychiatry, and advanced clinical experience in inpatient psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, general outpatient psychiatry and psychotherapy, and partial hospitalization programs including an intensive group therapy-based program, are all available.

Electives for clinical research and other scholarly activities can be arranged with individual faculty members. In addition, special electives can be created with concurrence of a supervising faculty member to provide clinical and research opportunities in the student's area of interest within psychiatry.

Education

Third-year Clerkship in Psychiatry

At present, the basic rotation involves a core clinical component with additional specialized experience.

  1. Core clinical experience: The student will rotate through four different clinical services in the Health Science Center. These facilities are Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Olin E. Teague Veterans Center, Darnall Army Community Hospital and the Waco Veterans Medical Center. Basic experience in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services will be provided through close day-to-day supervision by senior faculty members. Special seminars and lectures also will be provided. Students will be expected to prepare case write-ups on patients they have followed.
  2. Patients with severe psychiatric disorders: All students will spend one or two weeks during the clerkship at the Waco Veterans Medical Center, a referral hospital for psychiatric and extended care patients in the Veterans Affairs medical care system. Students will have responsibility for assessing and following patients with the most severe, disabling illnesses, and will also have an opportunity to experience group psychotherapy with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Evaluation of the clinical experiences will be made by faculty who have supervised the student during the clerkship. Emphasis in grading will be placed on professional attributes, clinical knowledge and skills, and related factors such as ability to function as a member of a clinical team. Additional evaluation will be by oral and written examination, and by the specialty subject examination prepared by the National Board of Medical Examiners. Unprofessional conduct will result in failure of the clerkship even with satisfactory completion of the cognitive aspects of the course.

Research

Research projects underway within the Department include Clinical & Health Services research as well as Basic & Translational research. Clinical & Health Services research includes a nationwide study of PTSD in firefighter recruits, military deployment mental health studies, development of an internet-based referral service for veterans, an international World Health Organization study on somatoform disorders; development of an advanced assessment instrument for children’s bipolar disorder; new treatments for PTSD, treatments to improve cognition in schizophrenia; and procedures for improving the care of PTSD by collaboration with family practitioners. Basic & Translational research includes studies on the biological basis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD and major depression, and brain imaging and genetic studies of mental disorders. The Department provides support for the VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans and the CTVHCS Neuropsychiatry Research Program, and in late 2008, will provide an academic home for the worlds most powerful portable MRI.

Contact Information

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
The Texas A&M Health Science Center - College of Medicine
Baylor Scott & White
2401 S. 31st Street
Temple, TX 76508

Academic Offices

Phone: 254-724-4071
Email: rmoore@sw.org

Last edited by: chauhan 05/27/2016

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