Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty

The Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty training program at Western University is fully accredited through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). PGY4 and PGY5 residents in psychiatry are eligible to apply for the two-year subspecialty training program in Geriatric Psychiatry. Western ‘s Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty has launched Competency Based Medical Education in July 2022 consistent with Royal College requirements.

During the subspecialty training in geriatric psychiatry the PGY5 year consists of advanced training in outpatient, outreach and inpatient geriatric psychiatry and exposure to core related medical fields, including geriatric medicine. Elective opportunities include ECT/TMs, cognitive neurology, sleep medicine, complex care, and palliative care as well as extended campus opportunities. Residents will participate in a shared educational series in partnership with the Geriatric Medicine Residency Training program at Western. Residents will be supported to
participate in the annual CAGP national review course. Additionally, in the PGY6 year there is a half-day per week resident led longitudinal clinic. The flexibility of the PGY6 curriculum provides residents ample elective time in pursuit of scholarly activities.

Nestled between major urban centres Toronto and Detroit, London, Ontario grants the benefits of a large city in terms of clinical opportunities in both hospital and community-based settings, while also allowing residents the ability to enjoy outdoor activities with ease in the beautiful surrounding locales. Additionally, the connection to Western University comes with opportunities to work with world class researchers such as those affiliated with the Robarts Research Institute, Centre for Education Research and Innovation, Global Minds among others. Thanks to the favourable faculty to resident ratios that this program provides we can help residents meet their learning goals and address their needs with ease, with the goal of providing the best possible springboard for success.

Recent Graduate Dr. Elyse Ross (Left) with Program Director Dr. Lisa VanBussel (Right)

We have several different clinical opportunities, including:

  • Acute Care Inpatients
  • Chronic Care Inpatients
  • Day Treatment Program
  • Outpatients
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Residential Care
  • ECT & TMs
  • Neurology
  • Community Psychiatry
  • Forensics
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Palliative and Complex Care

Training Facilities Include:

  • London Health Sciences Centre
  • Parkwood Institute Mental Health
  • Community General Hospital, including St Thomas Elgin General
  • Community Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Virtual Care with Community Partners

Our Subspecialization Program also offers innovative learning opportunities in:

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Research
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Academic Education research and Innovation


  1. Candidates are eligible to begin the subspecialty training after completing a minimum of 4 years of postgraduate training in psychiatry.
  2. Candidates will start their PGY5 or PGY6 in July 2023. For candidates applying to start in the PGY6 year, a review of their PGY5 year is required to ensure that the candidate meets all of the requirements for subspecialty training, as set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  3. Candidates must be eligible for an educational license with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Application Dates: Western will be accepting new residents for July 2023.

Application Deadline: September 1st, 2022

Western Interview Date: October 21st, 2022

Offers Letters Sent: October 27th, 2022

Response Deadline: November 3rd, 2022 

Residency Start Date:  July 1, 2023

Western University has two open spots for July 2023.

Application Requirements:

The candidate must submit:

  1. A letter of intent, which must include:
  2. Interest in geriatric psychiatry
  3. Goals and objectives for completing subspecialty training
  4. Possible career goals and interests
  5. A current curriculum vitae
  6. Two letters of reference
  7. A letter of good standing from the candidates’ Psychiatry Program Director

Applicants who are past the application due dates and are still interested in applying or if you are in your PGY5 year and are interested in starting the residency program in your PGY6 year, please contact the Program Director.

All application packages must be submitted electronically to

Meghan Backtash
Program Administrator 

Selection Process:

  1. Candidates will submit their application packages to Meghan Backtash via email to  September 1st, 2022.
  2. The Geriatric Psychiatry Resident Program Committee will review the applications and offer interviews. The Zoom interview will occur at a mutually agreed upon time and consists of a set of predetermined questions and ample opportunity for discussion and questions.
  3. Residents will receive an offer once the deliberation of the Resident Program Committee is complete.

For more information about the Geriatric Subspecialty program, please contact:

Dr. Lisa VanBussel
Geriatric Psychiatry Program Director,


Meghan Backtash
Program Administrator Geriatric Psychiatry
Administrative support to the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry