Psychiatry and Social Dysfunction (GNK 581)


Psychiatry is the branch of medicine which deals with mental illness.  The rise of chronic mental illness during the 20th century has prompted extensive research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of these often debilitating conditions.  The importance of the inclusion of a module in psychiatry in the undergraduate medical degree is internationally recognized. 

Contents of module:

The module will help students to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to diagnose and manage certain psychiatric conditions. Preventative and promotive aspects of management are also emphasised. These psychiatric conditions include the following: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and substance-related disorders, sexual disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mental disorders due to general medical conditions, personality disorders, eating disorders and sleep disorders.

These topics will be handled as applicable to children, adolescents and adults. Additional topics include: legal aspects, aggression, child abuse, child development, mental retardation and interpersonal skills.

During morning lectures, students are directly exposed to psychiatric patients and their problems by means of small-group activities.

The afternoon lectures are used for the solution of problem-orientated case studies and accompanied exploration of the themes mentioned above.  

The skills lab assists the department of psychiatry in teaching students the basic aspects of the discipline by providing chances for the student to improve his/her communication skills, something which is essential in diagnosing and treating mental illness.  Opportunities come in the form of OSCE’s, during which it will be expected of the student to diagnose any of the most common psychiatric disorders, such as mood disorders (major uni-polar depression and bipolar disorder), personality disorders (such as borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder), thought disorders (schizophrenia), eating disorders and addiction.   


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