Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 88–92 | Cite as

Use of the Mechanistic Case Diagramming Technique to Teach the Biopsychosocial-Cultural Formulation to Psychiatric Clerks

  • Anthony P. S. Guerrero
  • Earl S. Hishinuma
  • Alberto C. Serrano
  • Iqbal Ahmed
Original Article


Objective: Biopsychosocial-cultural formulation is an essential skill for medical students to become familiar with during their psychiatry clerkship. The authors describe their use of mechanistic case diagramming to demonstrate to students, in a single teaching session, how to construct a biopsychosocial-cultural formulation, and they present results of an evaluation of the session’s effect on students. Methods: Questionnaires exploring students’ views and understanding of biopsychosocial-cultural formulation were administered to 16 students before and after teaching sessions. Results: Significant increases were observed after the teaching sessions in self-reported understanding of and comfort with presenting a biopsychosocial-cultural formulation and in ratings of the importance of showing linkages between biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. Conclusions: The technique of mechanistic case diagramming may be a useful approach for teaching biopsychosocial-cultural formulation.


Academic Psychiatry Sociocultural Factor Psychiatry Clerkship Clerkship Director Mechanistic Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony P. S. Guerrero
    • 1
    • 2
  • Earl S. Hishinuma
    • 1
  • Alberto C. Serrano
    • 1
  • Iqbal Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Queen’s University Tower, Fourth FloorHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsHonoluluUSA

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