Original Publication
Open Access

Neurology/Psychiatry Clerkship Cases: "I Need More Vicodin!"

Published: March 13, 2007 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.510

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Clerkship Case

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This web-based module, required for all neurology-psychiatry clerkship students, is designed to supplement the clinical clerkship experience and address core clerkship objectives in an integrated, interactive way, while at the same time assessing mastery of the objectives. The module was tested by a group of clerkship students before final modifications were made. Its learning objectives include: assessing and managing headache, addiction, and interpersonal conflicts. It was developed using WebCT software. Methods: The module has nine sections. Each section includes an outline of that section's task, case notes compiled from previous sections, video clips of either a clinical interaction or an expert discussing the case, a multiple-choice self-assessment, comments from an attending's perspective, and open-ended short-answer clinical question section. The completion of one section triggers the start of the next section. Students can complete the module over several sittings. In the final section of the case, learning objectives are revealed, and students are asked to complete an anonymous evaluation of the module. Results: Data on the module's effectiveness come from focus groups and formal evaluations of the module and overall clerkship. In focus groups, students describe the module as a useful supplement to clinical experiences. Overall, students rate the usefulness of the module in the upper half of all specific learning activities of the clerkship (3.95/5.00, M = 3.72, N = 146 over the last year). Discussion: This has served as a model at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to address accreditation requirements for standardizing and meeting minimum patient encounters for mastery of core clinical objectives. Because of the success of this module, the authors have become resources for educators at UCSF and other medical schools who are interested in developing similar modules. The authors have received grant funding to create a training guide on developing interactive, case based web modules.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Obtain a good history, classify, determine whether it is benign or pathologic and describe why, determine appropriate use of neuroimaging, and describe management of a patient experiencing a headache.
  2. Obtain good substance use history, determine whether patient has a substance use disorder or not, discuss whether narcotics or other controlled substances should or can be used in the context of known substance abuse or dependence.
  3. Assess personality style, determine presence of personality disorder or traits, understand how personality affects counter-transference, and make sound clinical decisions including treatment.

Author Information

  • Ann Poncelet, MD: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • Lowell Tong, MD: University of California: San Francisco: School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report. 

Prior Presentations
Marchand T, Poncelet A, Tong L, Souza K. "I Need Vicodin!" - Developing a Selectively Released Neurology/Psychiatry Clinical Case in WebCT. Poster presented at: Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA); 2004.

Poncelet A, Tong L, Berger O. Case-Based Web Learning Modules - Neurology/Psychiatry Core Clerkship Curriculum Update and Live Web Demonstration. Poster presented at: UCSF School of Medicine Education Day; 2004.


Poncelet A, Tong L. Neurology/psychiatry clerkship cases: "I need more Vicodin!" MedEdPORTAL. 2007;3:510. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.510