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. (Maria.Poor1@va.gov) 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) Interview and evaluate patients with flexibility for required in differing situations and circumstances (PC1)
  • 2) Communicate effectively with patients, families, and referring medical team members and nursing staff (ISC1)
  • 3) Demonstrate empathy for patients, and work compassionately with patients and their families (P1)
  • 4) Evaluate acute safety issues thoroughly (suicidality, homicidal ideation, psychosis) (SBP2)
  • 5) Present and assimilate evaluation data into a diagnostic differential with appropriate treatment recommendations (PC2)
  • 6) Discuss and explain the use of psychotropic medications in medical patients, and drug-drug interactions (MK4)
  • 7) Discuss and apply the components of, and skills in, the evaluation of medical decision-making capacity (P3)
  • 8) Identify the presentations and interventions for delirium and dementia in the medical setting (MK4)
  • 9) Evaluate and care for patients with psychiatric symptoms alongside medical/surgical teams (SBP1)


  • 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: 90% Clinical, 5% presentation, 5% library

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

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