Timothy Derstine, M.D.
Timothy Derstine, M.D., clerkship site director, Psychiatry


  • Required core rotation
  • 4 weeks in length
  • Inpatient rotation on behavioral health unit and consult service at Mount Nittany Medical Center
  • Outpatient rotation in several areas based on student interest:
    • Adolescent partial hospitalization program - home nursing with academic
        learning for children too ill for school
    • Autism program - spectrum of disorders
    • Child and adolescent outpatient health at SunPointe Health
    • Inpatient drug and alcohol program

Goals and Objectives

  • Become clinically adept at performing psychiatric evaluations, formulating a differential diagnosis and developing a treatment plan using a biopsychosocial approach to patient care
    • Elicit and clearly record at least two complete psychiatric histories including all relevant sections, as well as mental status exam, differential diagnosis and treatment plan
    • Perform at least one mental status exam in the presence of an attending physician, successfully covering all primary components
    • Accurately use all five axes of the DSM-IV in recording a diagnosis
    • Identify general signs and symptoms (diagnostic criteria) for common mental illnesses in each of the major categories of the DSM-IV
    • Demonstrate the ability to form a positive therapeutic alliance with the patient during psychiatric interview
  • Develop a solid knowledge base in the specialty of psychiatry, prepared to address the biopsychosocial issues in any field of medicine
    • Document clinical interaction with at least one patient for each of the categories of mental illness listed in New Innovations and explain how the patient meets the criteria for each illness
    • Obtain a passing score (equal to or greater than the 10th percentile) on the psychiatry SHELF exam given at end of rotation
    • Demonstrate familiarity with use of psychotropic agents, ECT and basic psychotherapy techniques during clinical experience
  • Appreciate psychiatry as a branch of medicine and how mental health issues play an important role in overall patient care
    • Explain the role of "medical workup" in the evaluation of patient presenting with psychiatric problems and how psychiatric signs and symptoms can be the result of a medical illness
    • Discuss how mental health factors can affect the course of hospitalization for patients on general medical/social services

Meet our Faculty