PIT5012 - Contemporary issues and controversies in psychiatry - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Fiona Best


Dr Phyllis Chua

Not offered in 2019


All Core units in Master of Psychiatry stream - PIT5001, PIT5002 PIT5003 CHM5012


Must be enrolled in M6022


The unit draws together the theoretical and clinical underpinnings of the practice of psychiatry in order to extend the student through application of this knowledge in clinical scenarios and settings.

This unit will cover issues related to professional practice such as role of a psychiatrist, assessment and formulation, evidence based practice, ethical and legal issues.

The unit will allow students to consolidate and apply the diverse skills and knowledge gained in their degree into their professional practice to become independent and critical learners and professionals.


  1. On successful completion of this Unit, students will be able to: Integrate and apply knowledge of the contemporary context in which the psychiatric profession operates including the regulatory, ethical and sociocultural aspects of the discipline and the role of the consultant psychiatrist.

  2. Conduct a competent psychiatric assessment in order to arrive at a diagnosis and management plan at expected standard of a senior psychiatry registrar. .
  3. Describe and integrate theoretical knowledge to develop a clinical formulation
  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate their clinical findings and advice to multiple audiences i.e. referring GP, another specialist
  5. Demonstrate a knowledge of other professionals and resources that could be accessed to facilitate a positive outcome for patients.
  6. Cultivate deeper and reflective insights into complex practice dilemmas that can impact on different types of psychiatric practice


  1. Online discussion (600 words each; 2 online commentaries) 20%
  2. Videoed clinical interview with simulated patient (600 words -post workshop reflection) 10%
  3. Case study- focus on clinical formulation (3,000 words) 50%
  4. Letter to referrer (1,200 words) 20%

Workload requirements

12 hours per week - online and self-directed.

This is primarily an online unit; plus two days of interactive workshops on-campus.

Detail: Students will be expected to log on each week to complete at least 12 hours of work consisting of online and self-directed work. Content will include use of a workbook, discussion room exercises, set readings, case based discussions, webinars and power-point lectures with voiceover. Students will be expected to undertake additional readings and dedicate time to the assessment tasks assigned to this unit.

One interactive workshop experience (students will spend 9.00-5.00 on campus as part of their residential weekend) to demonstrate that application of theory to practice is also expected.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study