Medical Student Education


Saint Elizabeths Hospital has a long and rich tradition of providing psychiatric care to individuals in need and training of medical professionals. We are a teaching institution with a psychiatry residency training program, a forensic psychiatry fellowship program, and other training programs in mental health disciplines such as psychology and social work.

Medical students from George Washington University, Howard University, and Caribbean Medical schools are assigned to Saint Elizabeths Hospital for their psychiatry clerkships. During psychiatry rotations, medical students become active members of multidisciplinary treatment teams. They work closely with psychiatry residents and under the direct clinical supervision of unit psychiatrists.

Medical students are assigned a minimum of three patients for whom they have more primary responsibility. Medical students are required to keep the treatment team abreast of developments with their patients, encouraged to participate in all aspects of patients’ treatment, and take initiative. Medical students are required to complete comprehensive initial assessments and write daily progress notes for their assigned patients.

Student Electives

Electives may also be arranged by students from these medical schools. Those electives are:

Forensic Psychiatry Elective

Rotation in one of the Saint Elizabeths Hospital inpatient forensic pretrial units (for evaluations of mental status at the time of the offense and competency to stand trial) and post-trial units (for individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity). Pretrial services assess the competence of individuals whether they can stand trial on criminal charges. The assessment will determine if a person was mentally ill when the offense was committed and if the illness affected the individual’s behavior significantly enough so he or she should not be held criminally responsible for their actions. Post-trial services provide treatment to all patients who were found not guilty but the reason of insanity. Those services focus on treatment, monitoring, and assessment of those individuals to make sure that they are no longer a danger to themselves and society.

Emergency Psychiatry Elective

Rotation in CPEP (Comprehensive Emergency Psychiatry Program), our 24-hour psychiatric emergency room, with an emphasis on involuntary patient assessments and the assessment and triage of suicidal or violent individuals or individuals who are unable to care for themselves. CPEP is located on the grounds of the old DC General Hospital. Rotations are there in 2 shifts. The morning shift is from 7 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The evening shift is from 3:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. At the emergency psychiatric facility student will have an opportunity to assess patients and refer them to crisis beds for up to 14 days as an alternative to inpatient hospitalization and to assess patients in the community as part of the Mobile crisis team. Although historically CPEP was the training site for residents it is now available for student education. From students’ testimonies: “I had a great time at CPEP. It was extremely hands-on and had a lot of patient interaction which was nice. I was given a caseload of about 2-3 patients a day that I attended to, wrote notes, and assisted with patient transfer for hospitalization. I would highly recommend the rotation for those who have an interest in psychiatry”.

Neuropsychiatry Elective

Rotation in Saint Elizabeths Hospital with an emphasis on the evaluation and treatment of individuals with neurological conditions focusing on understanding, performing, and documenting neurological exams and understanding of pharmacological effects of psychotropic medications. The students on neuropsychiatry rotation provide consultation services to psychiatric patients on all units at Saint Elizabeths Hospital. They participate in the evaluation and management of patients with altered mental status, cognitive impairment associated with dementia, and neurological complications or side effects of psychiatric drugs such as acute dystonia, akathisia, parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia, and tardive dystonia. After the elective students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of common psychiatric and neurological diseases, be able to describe the neurological exam, and better understand the pharmacological effects and side effects of psychotropic medications.

Contact Us

To obtain more information about Saint Elizabeths Hospital Medical Student Education or to register for psychiatry electives please contact via email: