MBBS Medical Undergraduate Programme

The Department of Psychiatry at HKU aims to teach medical students how to detect, assess and manage individuals with mental health problems. We aim to enable our medical students to acquire relevant knowledge, skills and attitude in psychiatry through learning in different stages in the MBBS programme:

Whole Class Senior ClerkshipCentral Academic Day Whole Class Session

The Specialty Clerkship takes place during the final year of MBBS programme. This include clinical attachments at Psychiatric Units in Queen Mary Hospital, Pamela Youde Nethersode Eastern Hospital, United Christian Hospial, Kowloon Hospital, Kwai Chung Hospital, and Castle Peak Hospital. Extensive bedside learning in real-life situations will be the main mode of acquiring competence. Students will have exposures to inpatient, outpatient and community-based managements.

Complementary to the Clinical Attachments, a Central Academic Day is scheduled each week to cover didactic teaching, skills training, and theme-based workshops.

  1. Lectures – including neuroscience, clinical psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, medical ethics, and clinical skills in psychiatry)
  2. Case conferences, journal clubs, and research seminars
  3. Clinical case-based learning
  4. Community and rehabilitation psychiatry
Integrated Block LectureClinical Foundation Block Lecture

During the Clerkship, each student will be assigned a mentor who will provide overall guidance to facilitate learning in psychiatry. E-learning resources are also available.

Teachers and medical students hold an end-of-rotation Staff-Student Consultative Committee meeting for course evaluation.

Evaluation is based on the followings:

  1. Continuous Assessment (i.e. attendance, performance, and a long case report)
  2. Clinical Competence Test at the end of the Specialty Clerkship
  3. Final MBBS Examinations which includes a written paper (multiple choice questions including extended-matching questions, and short answer questions)
  4. Final MBBS Objective Structured Clinical Examination

There is a two-hour Examination Briefing Session approximately 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the Final MBBS Examinations to brief students on examination preparation.

In MBBS Year 4, Psychiatry teaching take place in the Clinical Foundation Block. Medical students are taught 4 psychiatry seminars including psychopathology, history-taking and mental state examination for general adult psychiatry, assessment for child and adolescent psychiatry and psychogeriatrics. The following topics are taught in the WCS:

  1. An introduction to Psychiatry
  2. Classification and diagnosis of psychiatric illness
  3. Psychiatric conditions in medical settings
  4. Suicide and drug overdose: risk factors
  5. Aetiology of psychiatric disorders

MBBS Year 4 students will then go through a Junior Clerkship period which composes of :

  1. Psychiatric Assessment Skills Training
    -Students will understand the key components in clinical psychiatric assessment and practice clinical interviewing skills through conducting clinical assessment by role-play or live demonstrations.
  2. Experiential Learning Session and Tutorial
    - During the Experiential Learning Session, students will have first-hand experience of psychiatric assessment, and learn about patients’ subjective experience/ personal narrative of mental illness by having meetings and interviews with clinically stable psychiatric patients.
    - At tutorials, students will go through video-taped students-patients interview clips with tutor. Students can learn the salient areas and common pitfalls in psychiatric assessment, so as to understand the impacts of mental illness from patient’s perspective.
Other teaching activitiesOther teaching activities

Medical students may be examined on the content of the Clinical Foundation Block and Junior Clerkship teaching in Psychiatry in the Year 4 formative and summative examinations.

Psychiatry teaching continues in the format of WCS during MBBS Year 5  Senior Clerkship period. There are thirteen lectures of one-hour each on common psychiatric presentations to bring out the essence of the associated clinical disorders on the following topics:

  1. Alcohol abuse
  2. Anxiety disorders
  3. Bipolar disorders
  4. Child and adolescent psychiatry
  5. Eating disorders
  6. Dementia
  7. Depressive disorders
  8. Geriatric assessment and rehabilitation
  9. Stress related disorders / Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
  10. Psychosis
  11. Sleep disturbances
  12. Substance misuse
  13. Suicide

Medical students may be examined on this part of the course at the Clinical Competency Test and Final MBBS Psychiatry Examination.

Whole Class Senior ClerkshipSpecialty Clerkship

Other teaching activities

Teachers from the Department of Psychiatry also conduct undergraduate teaching in Clinical Interpersonal Skills (CIPS) and Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Academic staff members are also actively involved in the MBBS Research Internship Scheme, Research Attachment Modules and Health Care Project. Teachers also provide a number of Elective Modules for medical students of the university. We have been welcoming international medical elective students who are interested in learning psychiatry in Hong Kong to participate in our Specialty Clerkship.

Any interested candidate for Research Internship Scheme, Research Attachment Modules, Medical Elective or Health Care Project should directly contact the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine for further details.

For enquiries, kindly contact Department of Psychiatry academic administrators (Tel : +852-2255 4488) or Dr WC Chang, Director of Education (changwc@hku.hk, Tel : +852 2255 4488).