Education: Contact, and general information

Assistant education advisor (english)
András Bence Lázár MD. senior lecturer

Deputy-assistant education advisor (english)
Mihály Újházi MD.

Assistant education advisor (hungarian)
Bettina Kata Kádár MD.

Deputy-assistant education advisor (hungarian)
Nikoletta Alexandra Dobos MD.

NEPTUN administration

Beáta Kovács

General Principles of The Psychiatry Education

General information for medical students

Published on Friday, 27 March 2015 10:40

It is impossible to encircle the hips of a girl with my right arm and hold her smile in my left hand, then proceed to study the two items separately. Similarly, we cannot separate life from living matter, in order to study only living matter and its reactions. Inevitably, studying living matter and its reactions, we study life itself.” - Albert Szent-Györgyi

The majority of our future colleagues is about to meet psychiatry for the first time.

During the last five decades the possibilities of treating mental disorders have undergone great development, maybe one of the greatest in the field of general medicine. The stunning results of neuroscience research provide more and more information about the processes of the nervous system. Even so, some uncertainty has still remained regarding psychiatry. This ambivalence may originate from the fact that this actively forming medical field encompasses a wide spectrum of science fields. It deals with easily understandable and treatable behavioral disorders but also tries to manage diseases that mean the most severe burden on people, families and society. Besides, psychiatry covers a range of methods from molecular biology to the fundamental philosophical questions of existence.

Most of us have chosen psychiatry as a profession because this branch of medicine deals with the highest level of functioning of the most complex organ which determines who we are. There are some who are primarily interested in white spots on the map of neuroscience. Others are interested in depth psychological mechanisms and connections between the individual and the environment or between the body and the mind. The greatest thing however is that in the psychiatrist’s mind these inseparable parts of human existence are present at the same time.

Therefore, psychiatry demands a high level of intellectual resources besides the basic practice of medicine, which gives freedom to the doctor even in the age of treatment-protocols and guidelines.

The main difficulties and challenges of this profession also originate from this stratification and complexity. The psychiatrist treats the individual person, who is strongly connected to the social context. The psychiatrist cannot work without considering social processes because normality is usually determined by far boundary conditions. Perhaps the most difficult task is to navigate on this borderline and to help while staying clear of the reductive medicalization of complex phenomena. Furthermore, only the symptomatology is known in the case of many disorders, the exact pathophysiology and neuroscientific background is hidden. Psychiatrists like measurable results and quantifiable variances as well, that would represent a solid reference. However, help and healing is needed even when something is not measurable, because the sum of the known details doesn’t equal the whole.

Ideally, the students acquire stable neuroanatomical and psychological knowledge before psychiatric studies. These are essential to understand the nature and treatment possibilities of mental disorders during the last two years of medical curriculum. Unfortunately, in some cases the theoretical background required to study psychiatry is not profound enough and certain preconceptions can be especially disadvantageous. Our aim is to prevent doctors from seeing the mind as a black box and we planned the curriculum accordingly.

Psychiatry course lasts during two semesters in the 5th year (14x2 hours of lectures and the same amount of practice hours) and a 4-week long clinical practice before the 6th year’s final exam.


Attendance of lectures is recommended.
The aim of the lectures is to provide a general picture about the field of psychiatry through presenting current results, which are significant even for a general medical doctor. Lectures present the diagnostic and treatment procedures of mental disorders usually through a case presentation. The topics and structure of the lectures aim to shape the attitude of the students towards psychiatry, but they do not necessarily cover all of the exam topics. Therefore for a successful exam it is suggested to read the textbooks.

Previous neuroanatomy, physiology, pathophisiology and neurology knowledge is essential to understand psychiatry, therefore it is advisable to refresh these in order to successfully pass the exam. The recommended source of theoretical knowledge is the Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry (6th Edition by Donald W. Black and Nancy C. Andreasen).

Attendance sheets will be signed at every lecture. Those who attended at least 80% of the lectures will pick one topic less at the exam at the end of the second semester (instead of two from the III part of the topic list).

Recording of any lecture on a data storage device is only possible with the previous permission of the lecturer.

During each semester the most important and comprehensive slides from the lectures will be uploaded onto the homepage of the Department of Psychiatry.


Attendance of practices is obligatory, according to the Academic and Examination Regulations the maximum amount of absences which can be accepted without extra work is 25 %. It means that only one practice might be missed.

We would like to remind students that they shall follow the rules and principles of medical ethics. During practices mobile phones must be turned off. Students should avoid glaring clothes and subcultural elements pushing the limits of social standards. Humor is an important tool in the healing process but mocking is not allowed, as understanding of irony can be missing in certain psychopathological states. Wearing a white coat is obligatory.

6 th year’s practice at the Department of Psychiatry can be accomplished in one of the five different Psychiatric units. Students are required to write 3 case reports according to the schema that can be downloaded from our homepage. Psychometric methods and their results should be attached as well.

In case of participation in the Erasmus Program, a certification about the practice is needed; otherwise the practice should be accomplished according to the guidance of the practice leader.

Written tests

In the fall semester knowledge of basic psychopathological definitions is demonstrated in a written test. In case of failure, the test can be repeated once.

There is a second written test on the last lecture. This test consists of 50 single-choice and multiple-choice questions selected from a test battery previously uploaded to Coospace. In case of failure, the test can be repeated once.

The first semester practice mark will be based on the results of the mid-term and of the end-term demonstrations and on the performance at the practical lessons.

The mid-term test in the spring semester will include basic psychodiagnostic and differential diagnostic knowledge; both psychiatrists and psychologists will participate as examiners.

The material to the thematic can be found on the following site:


The psychiatry topic list for the exam consists of 4 parts including 270 questions. The first two parts are built on previous studies and cover a basic neuroscience and psychological knowledge that is essential to understand psychiatry. In part III. topics of detailed psychiatry and in part IV. topics of psychiatric therapy can be found. There are many topics, but each question is focused on a small section of the material. The aim of this segmented topic list is to ensure deep and profound understanding of the problems and context of the clinical psychiatry practice, which are of essential importance even for general medical doctors.

At the colloquial exam students should pick 4 questions from topic list; each from parts I. and II. and two from part III. (the IV. part involving psychiatric therapy is not part of the colloquial exam). For a successful exam at least satisfactory knowledge of every question has to be proven.

Those who attended at least 80% of the lectures are allowed to change one of the topics and can draw another one from the same section.

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