Step right up

There is a shortage of psychiatrists in Windsor. And a new program in Windsor is hoping to change that. Knowing that physicians will end up practising where they train, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry has established a psychiatry residency-training program in the city. It is the first CaRMS distributed stream for a specialty rotation.

The program is now in its second year, and it has found a solid base, with three first-year residents, and a fourth-year resident. They will be spending most of their time in Windsor and have opportunities to complete electives or core rotations elsewhere.

Dr. Brian Burke is the director of the postgraduate program, and is pleased with its progress. The program is expected to attract two resident per year so that there will be a complement of 10 residents at one time.

“Our hope for the program is that it continues and provides quality education for residents interested in psychiatry, as well as provides good health care for mental health patients locally,” Dr. Burke said.

Enthusiastic about his chosen specialty, Dr. Burke encourages medical students to consider psychiatry as their career path.

“Psychiatry hadn’t occurred to me until I completed my rotation during my rotating internship,” he said. “I found it intellectually stimulating and I felt the need to help those who I perceived were the youngest and sickest people in the hospital.”

In particular, Dr. Burke feels drawn to helping people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and biopolar disorders, and intellectual disabilities. “Caring for these individuals, has given me the opportunity to work with the nicest and most gentle people I’ve ever met,” Dr. Burke shared.

His advice to those young medical students considering psychiatry — “step right up, you’ll never be bored,” he offered positively. “Completing your residency in Windsor will be very stimulating and will offer trainees the opportunity to learn about continuity of care, as well as many aspects of community care that are part of modern psychiatry.”

More about Dr. Burke

Dr. Burke was born in Windsor and attended high school in Tilbury. He completed his internship and residency training at the University of Toronto, after which he moved back to Windsor and began his practice. He’s grateful to his wife, family and circle of friends for the balance they bring to his life. And he keeps things interesting playing saxophone professionally, performing two to six gigs a month in the community.