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Content Objective: Mood Disorders

By the end of the Family Medicine Clerkship, the medical student will be able to:

  1. Elicit the common symptoms associated with depression and anxiety using current criteria and other diagnostic and functional assessment tools.
  2. Perform a mental status examination, including assessment of suicide/homicidal risk and take appropriate action where necessary.
  3. Elicit the contextual and other factors contributing to the depressive and/or anxiety symptoms and probe for/describe impact on patient's function.
  4. Differentiate between sadness/grief and a clinical depressive syndrome and an abnormal grief reaction.
  5. Differentiate between situational anxiety and anxiety disorders (e.g. GAD, OCD, phobias, PTSD.)
  6. Identify other conditions that can present with depression and/or anxiety, co-morbid or more serious conditions (e.g. substance abuse, dementia, delirium, hyperthyroidism, arrhythmias personality disorders.)
  7. Identify high risk groups for depression and anxiety disorders (e.g. post-trauma, bereavement, malignancy or other serious illness diagnosis (in self or family member), dysfunctional families (abuse, separation, etc.), family history.)
  8. Propose non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic management options for patients with depression and/or anxiety, including risks, benefits and limitations of the method(s) used.
  9. Identify locally available resources which can provide support or help with ongoing management of depression and/or anxiety.

Mandatory Clinical Encounter

  • Depression
  • Anxiety

* Where a specific resource is not listed for a particular objective, please refer to recommended general texts/websites. Resources have often been selected from the Clinical Practice Guidelines and Protocols in British Columbia and Alberta’s Towards Optimized Practice Clinical Practice Guidelines. These are often concise summaries of national guidelines.