Learning the Lifespan

Fourth-year medical student Andrew Reuss sees patients at HICSA.

Sometimes it can be tough for a medical student to choose a specific area of psychiatry. To help with the decision, UNMC offers a four-week elective, which touches on four common areas of psychiatry.

Fourth-year medical students registered for the Lifespan elective will spend a week in the child and adolescent division, a week working with women’s health/perinatal care providers, a week helping patients on the adult psychiatry floor, and a week working with geriatric patients at the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging (HICSA) building. Students will have the opportunity to work with faculty and therapists in evaluating and treating patients. The Lifespan elective allows the students an opportunity to expand their psychiatric knowledge and skills with patients of all ages.

Andrew Reuss registered for the elective and just finished the four-week course with a week at HICSA.

“It’s crazy when you think about how much there is to go into being a psychiatrist, so I think this elective did a good job at providing me a general overview,” Reuss said. “Now, whoever comes through the clinic, I will feel comfortable working with them, kids and up.”

Reuss said he enjoyed the elective, especially working at HICSA with Dr. Thomas Magnuson.

“It was a really organized clerkship,” he said. “When I started, they had me scheduled for four weeks out. It was my responsibility to check my schedule and see who I would be seeing the following day, and if I did that, everything went smoothly.”

Fellow fourth-year Ian Parsley signed up for the Lifespan elective because he wanted more outpatient experience.

“I felt it would give me a lot of good exposure to outpatient psychiatry,” Parsley said. “I thought it was a great opportunity because I would get to work with adults, and get to work with pediatrics. I would see the entire spectrum.”

Parsley plans to go into research, possibly studying a patients first encounters with psychosis.


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