Mental Health (Clinical Practice)


The learning objectives have been addressed in the document "Graduate Outcomes of Portuguese Undergraduate Medical Education". Regarding attitudes, students are expected to internalize a set of provisions relating to medical practice, as well as to the inter-personal relationship with patients and families. Regarding knowledge and skills, students are expected to integrate in their clinical thinking a sound biopsychosocial perspective, encompassing not only the different psychiatric disorders, but also the psychological aspects of somatic diseases, as well the recent data from basic science with impact in the development of therapeutic interventions.
Thus, the following learning objectives have been set:
• To identify symptoms of psychiatric disorder and differentiate them from normal psychological functioning.
• To identify pathological elements in personality, behaviour and interpersonal relationships.
• To place the patient in their social, work and family context.
• To evaluate the functional capacity of patients.
• To identify individual and social risk situations.
•To collect, record and prepare the information in order to obtain a comprehensive diagnosis.
• To learn the referral procedures of individuals with mental health problems.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof. Doutor Miguel Talina


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





• Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 6th Edition. Londres, Oxford Medical Publications
• Instrumentos de avaliação psiquiátrica / Research tools: MINI, MMSE
• Documento “Graduate Outcomes of Portuguese Undergraduate Medical Education”

Teaching method

The Mental Health clerkship has duration of 4 weeks, on a full-time basis, and includes (i) a module of theoretical seminars (first 2 days), (ii) a module for clinical practice, in which students can rotate through hospitalization valences, outpatient clinics, day hospital, child psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, rehabilitation and emergency room (2 weeks)  and (iii) a module for practical activities at home (2 weeks).
Teaching methods includes:
A. Group seminars (just during the first 2 days), by means of:
• Case presentation and discussion
• Problem solving
• Videos
• Role playing 
• Presentation of selected themes (eg, stigma)

B. Tutored clinical practice (“learning by doing”)

Evaluation method

Evaluation: Continuous assessment (includes: punctuality, motivation, participation in clinical activities, level of knowledge, level of skills, history taking, research activities, etc) plus the preparation and discussion of a final report (description of the working period, critical appraisal) after the last day of the clerk.

Subject matter

The Mental Health clerk focuses on three main dimensions: (i) Clinical activity in the areas of adult and child psychiatry; (ii) practical activities at home and (ii) group seminars. The contents are described in the "Graduate Outcomes of Portuguese Undergraduate Medical Education" document. The seminars include the following topics (language: Portuguese):
• Mental State Examination
• Structured diagnostic interview
• Approach to the patient with psychomotor agitation
• Approach to the suicidal patient attempt
• Assessment of cognitive functions
• Stigma issues in mental health


Programs where the course is taught: