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First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship, 3rd Edition (First Aid Series)

A high-yield insider’s guide to the psychiatry clerkship in the super-effective First Aid format

4 STAR DOODY’S REVIEW (of previous edition)
“This is probably the best overall review book for medical students doing a psychiatry rotation. Its organization and thoroughness are unsurpassed, putting it above similar review books. Students who thoroughly read this book should have no trouble successfully completing their psychiatry clerkship and passing the shelf exam. As course director for the core psychiatry clerkship at my institution, I will recommend this book to students.”–Doody’s Review Service

First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship gives you the core information needed to impress on the wards and pass the psychiatry clerkship exam. Written by students who know what it takes to succeed, and based on the national guidelines for the psychiatry clerkship, the book is filled with mnemonics, ward and exam tips, tables, clinical images, algorithms, and newly added mini-cases.


  • Completely revised based on the psychiatry clerkship’s core competencies
  • Written by medical students who passed and reviewed by faculty for accuracy
  • NEW integrated mini-cases illustrate classic patient presentations and/or commonly tested scenarios
  • NEW illustrations and management algorithms
  • Updated throughout with enhanced sections on medications, depression/anxiety, and child psychiatry
  • Helps students hone in on the most important concepts for the clerkship and the exam

The content you need to ace the clerkship:
Section I: How to Succeed in the Psychiatry Clerkship Section II: High-Yield Facts; Examination and Diagnosis; Psychotic Disorders; Mood Disorders; Anxiety and Adjustment Disorders; Personality Disorders; Substance-Related Disorders; Cognitive Disorders; Geriatric Disorders; Psychiatric Disorders in Children; Dissociative Disorders; Somataform and Factitious Disorders; Impulse Control Disorders; Eating Disordes; Disorders; Sleep Disorders; Sexual Disorders; Psychtherapies; Psychopharmacology; Legal Issues; Section III: Awards and Opportunities.

About the Author

Author Profiles
Matthew S. Kaufman, MD is a board-certified oncologist in Long Island Jewish Medical Center (New York). He completed his fellowship in hematology and his residency in internal medicine at LIJ Medical Center. He is a graduate of SUNY-Downstate College of Medicine.

Latha G. Stead, MD, MS, FACEP is Chief, Division of Clinical Research and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine at Gainesville. She is also Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (Rochester, MN) and serves as Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Jason Yanofski, MD completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Yale University and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at The University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.

I think this is a really solid book for NBME shelf preparation. It is very to the point and doesn’t include a bunch of useless fluff. If you are really interested in psych and want more than a basic outline of each condition, then this book is not for you. It is in no way a reference text and is really just the important stuff for the test. If, like me you just want to do well on the shelf, this book is great.

This was the first First Aid product I’ve purchased since buying First Aid for USMLE Step 1, and I think I made a mistake by not buying the First Aids for the last four clerkships I’ve done. This book was ~200 pages of high-yield information, and it covered almost everything on the shelf exam in adequate detail.

The book is organized into chapters based on similar types of psychiatric disorders. Within those chapters, the sections of specific diagnoses are listed with their DSM-IV criteria, common presentations, treatment, etc. The text provides a complete picture of all the important conditions with a perfect amount of detail. There is also a separate chapter on pharmacology, which lists all the major drugs with their mechanism of action, side effects, and indications.

After taking the shelf, I realized that almost everything on the test was in this book. Case Files was similar in overall quality, but First Aid is much easier to get through in a short clerkship.

If I had to nitpick, I would say this book could have included more on general medical conditions that can masquerade as psychiatric illnesses. I would recommend flipping through the endocrine chapter in another review book prior to taking the exam.

I’m a psychiatry resident currently and I remember finding this book to be incredibly helpful as a medical student. Just the right amount of information in an easy to read and remember way. It sets up a nice framework and I also remember it being helpful for me to take notes in the book throughout the clerkship. This was my main resource and I had the highest score for the clerkship exam.

Product Details :

  • Series: First Aid Series
  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Medical; 3 edition (March 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071739238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071739238
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.3 x 10.7 inches

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