Medical Student Education

Since our founding in 1923, our department has always been dedicated to the education of our medical students. We recognize that, no matter what specialty you ultimately enter, most of you will practice psychiatry one way or another. Our core psychiatry curriculum will provide you with the clinical understanding and tools for this reality. Our electives will give you the opportunity to hone your psychiatry skills and explore a variety of research and clinical issues.  Psychiatry grows each year in the effective treatments that it offers patients, while it retains its essential interest in the individuality of their lives.  You will become part of both the growth and the tradition of education in our field. We look forward to working with you.

Mind and Behavior (IDPT 5024) introduces the interplay between the biological, developmental, environmental, and psychological processes underlying human behavior, cognition, and emotions. Through active learning, a medical student is prepared to participate in the care of persons experiencing mental illness, to seek transformative knowledge in the neurosciences, and to advance health equity. 


Abraham - Year 1 Med student photo

Course Director: Abraham Nussbaum, MD

Psychiatric Electives Phase I & II

PSYM 6620 Psychiatric Aspects of Great Literature

Writers, the first thinkers to understand the "whole man," took into account his unconscious. We'll illustrate this as reflective in normal development and personality formation, symbolization, fantasy and psychopathology using the characters and texts from Great Literature. Mondays at 7:00 PM.

Course Director, Robert Davies, MD; Course Coordinator, Tiffany Hamilton, 303-724-7401. (This is a two semester course; students enrolled for fall semester will automatically be registered for spring semester. Spring web-registration is not available.) 

PSYM 6626 Introduction to Emergency Psychiatry

Students will learn basics of emergency evaluation with particular focus on suicide, homicide, child abuse, spouse abuse, and incest. Students will see emergency psychiatric consultations with residents, staff or faculty. Two meetings with Dr. Curry and two shifts as Denver Health Medical Center.

Course Director, Ashley Curry, MD; Course Coordinator, Tiffany Hamilton, 303-724-7401; Spring Semester only.

PSYM 6633 Introduction to Substance Use Disorders in Medical Practice: Identification, Evaluation and Treatment

Students will learn – and learn how to apply - basic identification, assessment and treatment of substance use disorders through clinical experience, reading and seminars. Students will attend 2 evening seminars with Dr. Sakai and will attend clinic with a faculty mentor at a specialty substance use disorder treatment program. Scheduling will be based on student needs. Core reading will also supplement clinical experience.

Course Director, Joseph Sakai, MD; Course Coordinator, Tiffany Hamilton, 303-724-7401; available Fall or Spring semester.

Psychiatric Care Block (IDPT 7040)

After completing Basic Psychiatry in Phases I and II, students complete a 4 week Psychiatric Care Block in Phase III. We offer a diversity of experiences and a number of rotation sites, including Denver Health Medical Center, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Students can select to work with children, adolescents, adults, and elderly patients on inpatient, outpatient and emergency settings. During this block, students also attend four weekly Reflective Writing small groups, providing a structured approach to help students to consider and grow from challenging clinical experiences. Students also attend four Wednesday afternoon Chief Rounds, which provide didactics on a broad range of clinically-relevant topic areas. Please click the associated links below to see a list of our rotation sites and the course syllabus.

Clerkship Sites 2020-2021

Psychiatry Syllabus 2020-2021

In Phase IV, students can choose to pursue additional training in specialty or advanced care topics in Psychiatry. For those interested in pursuing Psychiatry as a career, we recommend completing either Advanced Adult Inpatient Psychiatry or Advanced Child & Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry. Other rotations focus on a broad range of subspecialty areas such as addiction, Psychiatric emergencies, forensics, and eating disorders. Students may also choose to conduct research under the supervision of a faculty mentor (Research in Psychiatry). Please use the link below to see a list our phase IV courses.

Psychiatry MSIV Electives (2020-21)

Contact Us

Medical Student Education

13001 East 17th Place

Fitzsimons Building, Level 2

Aurora, CO 80045

Fax: (303) 724-7400


Sharon Campbell

Program Coordinator

Phone: (303) 724-7400

Email: Sharon Campbell


Tiffany Hamilton

Program Coordinator

Phone: (303) 724-7401

Email: Tiffany Hamilton


Joseph Sakai, MD

Director of Medical Student Education

Phone: (303) 724-7402

Email: Joseph Sakai