The St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine undergraduate course in Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine is offered from the 2nd year of medical school through the fourth year (junior internship).
The entire course is unique as it deliberately aims to assist and prepare students to become physicians who understand and appreciate the various applications of behavioral and psychiatric principles in patient care and health maintenance that emphasizes the biopsychosociospiritual approach.
The course starts in the 2nd year as a year long exploration and analysis of the human life cycle and its response to health and dis-ease. It provides the student with the basic knowledge of human behavior, integrating the biological, psychological, behavioral and social sciences, as these apply to health, illness and treatment across the life span. The important biopsychosociospiritual framework is introduced, stressing the interacting influences of neurobiological, psychological, socio-cultural and spiritual factors on human behavior, illness and physician-patient interactions. Towards the end of the 2nd year, the student will be expected to learn the components of the psychiatric history and know the essentials of a mental status examination. This paves the way for the 3rd year, when students are introduced to psychopathology; when they learn to understand how a person gets sick emotionally, the evolution of intrapsychic conflict and the interplay between the biological, psychological and environmental factors that lead to emotional, behavioral and mental illness. These basic concepts of pathophysiology are later integrated with the various therapeutic interventions relevant to psychiatry, using the biopsychosociospiritual framework.
In the 4th year, a 2-week clinical rotation in general hospital psychiatry exposes the students to various intellectual stimulations, clinical experiences and appropriate professional interactions within an interdisciplinary framework, where they are able to apply the various behavioral and psychiatric principles in patient care and health maintenance.