Medical Student Education

The Medical Student Curriculum in the Department of Psychiatry consists of two major learning experiences. The first, the Mind, Brain and Behavior course, is offered during the first year . The second, the Psychiatry and Neurology Clerkship, is offered during the third year. Both experiences are developed and presented in close collaboration with the Department of Neuroscience.


Mind, Brain and Behavior (MBB) is an integrated course that ranges from basic neuroscience, which includes neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and neurotransmitter functions, to behavioral correlates of neural structure and function, clinical correlates of neural dysfunction, neurological diagnosis, and psychopathology. The faculty is drawn from the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences and the Department of Psychiatry, with other departments participating as appropriate. The course synthesizes basic science and clinical aspects of the knowledge that we have acquired in the neurosciences and behavioral sciences and utilizes this body of knowledge to provide a better understanding of disorders of the nervous and behavioral systems. The teaching modalities emphasize active student participation. Information on key topics is provided in the form of lectures, small-group sessions which utilize case-history presentations, as well as laboratories in neuroanatomy.

Buprenorphine Training Course

This is a federally-approved, free buprenorphine training course for third-year NJMS students. Physicians who complete this official 4.5-hour course (plus a 3.5-hour Internet component) are eligible to apply for a permit to prescribe buprenorphine ( or for the treatment of opioid use disorders from their own offices. The course is taught by Drs. Petros Levounis and Erin Zerbo. Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved medication, a partial agonist of the mu opioid receptor, which has revolutionized the treatment of patients who suffer from addiction to heroin and prescription opioid pills.

Course Directors


Barbara Fadem, Ph.D., Professor

Course Director, MBB


BHSB Room E-1450

Email: Dr. Fadem


Steven S. Kamin, MD, Associate Professor

Course Director, MBB

Neurology & Neurosciences

MSB, Rm. H-506, ext. 2-7153

Email: Dr. Kamin

Course Organization


Lectures: The basic science and clinical lectures are designed to convey the essential knowledge base to the students. Wherever appropriate, efforts have been made to link neural structure and function with behavioral processes and clinical disorders.


Laboratories and Small Group Sessions:

•  Neuroanatomy Laboratories:   The laboratory sessions include anatomical examination of the human brain as demonstrated in whole and dissected brains.

•  Small Group Sessions:  These include sessions on neuroscience, behavioral science, and neuro- and psycho-pathology in which a case-history format is utilized to review basic information in the neural and behavioral sciences. These small group sessions will provide insight into the nature of neural and behavioral disorders as well as the relationships between neural and behavioral processes.

Course Objectives

•  To gain an understanding of the structural and functional organization of the nervous system

•  To acquire knowledge of the gross brain morphology and neuroanatomy of the central nervous system, including the development of the central nervous system, blood supply, ventricular system and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and their clinical correlations.

•  To develop an understanding of the anatomy and functions of sensory and motor systems, including analysis of their pathways and control mechanisms in relation to the principles of neural function, the neurological examination, and localization of neurological lesions.

•  To know the functional properties of the nervous system in relation to normal and abnormal processes, including memory, sleep, emotions, endocrine functioning, feeding and drinking and their relationships with behavioral functions and disorders.

•  To have exposure to brain imaging (i.e. CT, MRI, PET, angiography) for clinical purposes.

•  To become acquainted with the basic principles of the neurological examination.

•  To become familiar with the epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic procedures and treatment of common neurological disorders, including upper and lower motor nerve disorders, disorders of the cerebellum, paraplegias, neuropathies, neoplasms, stroke, dementia, aphasia, pain syndromes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

•  To gain an understanding of the stages of the life cycle, including infancy, toddler and preschool age, school-age, adolescence and adulthood.

•  To become familiar with the basic principles of psychiatric assessment.

•  To learn about the epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic procedures and treatment of common psychopathological syndromes, including schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders, disorders related to substance use, pain disorders, sleep disorders, factitious disorders, eating disorders, dementia, delirium, and childhood disorders.

•  To become acquainted with neuropsychological testing.

•  To receive an introduction to the foundations and basic principles of psychotherapy.

•  To learn basic principles concerning the pharmacology of clinically important drugs, including anti-epileptics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and drugs of abuse.

•  To gain an appreciation of neurobehavioral functions and dysfunctions.


 Please email questions and comments to: Rajashri Patel
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