IU School of Medicine



In this elective, medical students will gain experience in interviewing and evaluating patients in various medical settings, in a consultative role, to assist in diagnosis, and behavioral and pharmacologic management. This will include: work with medical inpatients, Emergency Room evaluations, and consultations for outpatient primary care and subspecialty services. During the elective, the student will develop a solid knowledge base for common psychiatric diagnoses as they affect and are affected by co-morbid medical conditions, and the use of psychotropics medications, along with the importance of drug-drug interactions.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Primary - Maria Poor, M.D.; (back-up) Eric E. Boss, M.D. and (mpoor@iupui.edu); (back-up) (eboss@iupui.edu)

Director: Maria Poor, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Roudebush VA Medical Center (Indianapolis)

Other Faculty: Eric E. Boss, M.D.

Learning Objectives

  • 1) By working through real cases involving literature review and discussion the learner will be able to list ways in which the patient's medical problems may impact treatment options for psychiatric diagnoses. (PC1)
  • 2) The learner will visit with patients in a variety of medical settings and will demonstrate an ability to adapt their approach appropriately. (ER; inpatient; outpatient primary care and subspecialty services). (ISC3)
  • 3) By working through real cases using the DSM-5 criteria the learner will be able to make accurate psychiatric diagnoses as well as a detailed differential diagnosis. (PC2)
  • 4) By practicing presentation of actual cases, the learner will demonstrate good organization, choosing pertinent information to include, and recognize information that would be important to obtain. (PBLI1)
  • 5) The learner will demonstrate how and when to check for medication interactions. (MK4)
  • 6) The learner will practice delivering recommendations to and taking questions from our medical colleagues, the patient, and families. (PBLI2)
  • 7) The learner will practice and improve their skill writing a consultation note that includes clear recommendations and at least one 'teaching point'. (ISC5)
  • 8) Using information available in the literature the learner will be able to list factors that increase or protect a person as it relates to suicide or homicide. (SBP1)
  • 9) The learner will be able to explain the 4 major areas to consider for decision-making capacity as well as other related information. (MK4)
  • 10) By observing the learner doing all or parts of interviews and giving feedback for possible improvement or alternative approaches the learner will demonstrate improvement in techniques for rapport building, information gathering, and increasing motivation for better health behaviors. (ISC2)
  • 11) The learner will demonstrate appropriate use of collateral and other information, e.g. lab and imaging results, outside collateral (family), and past medical records. (MK7)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form; (The Course Director will meet with the student at the beginning of the elective to outline the expectations and goals of thiselective. Mid-rotation feedback will be given, and assistance in pursuing any special interests, and guidance in choosing a presentation topic. At the end of the elective, the Course Director will complete a formal assessment instrument (see attached). Additional aspects of this final evaluation may include any feedback received from referring medical teams, or support staff with which the student has worked during the rotation).

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status; must have completed Psychiatry Clerkship

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 80% Clinical, 5% presentation, 15% library/reading

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Primary - Maria Poor, M.D.; (back-up) Eric E. Boss, M.D. and (mpoor@iupui.edu); (back-up) (eboss@iupui.edu) Please contact Vicki Anderson (vpetrou@iupui.edu) before scheduling to determine availability and contact faculty a minimum of 4 weeks prior to start of elective.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: this elective does provide potential opportunities to work with psychiatric social workers, or advanced practice nurses within the psychiatric service at the VA facility, as well as, regular interactions with the medical social workers on the inpatient and outpatient teams in a consultative role.

Service Learning Included: None