Clinical Clerkship in Psycho-Oncology (Course Code: PSY-142)

Clinical Clerkship in Psycho-Oncology (Course Code: PSY-142)


Elective Course Description

In this elective, students will work with psychiatric staff in a cancer center to learn assessment of psychological symptoms and the diagnosis and management of common psychiatric syndromes seen in adults with cancer and their families. The student will develop familiarity with liaison issues, a continuity consultation model, and problems faced by oncology staff in managing complex patients and situations.  Basic theories of psychiatry, family systems work, and consultation liaison psychiatry will be reviewed, with hands-on exposure to and study of inpatient and outpatient oncology as a social system.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize when a referral to psychiatry/psychology is needed for patients and their families in the oncologic setting.
  2. Recognize and differentiate pain, anxiety, and delirium in cancer patients.
  3. Develop an accurate, descriptive mental status exam for patients with cancer.
  4. Obtain a complete and reliable psycho-oncologic history.

Suggested Literature

  1. Holland,Jimmie et al. Psycho-Oncology: A Quick Reference on the Psychosocial Dimensions of Cancer Symptom Management, second edition. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  2. Holland, Jimmie and Sheldon Lewis. The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty. Harper Collins, 2001
  3. Breitbart, William S. et al. Psycho-Oncology, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, 2021.