Postgraduate Education

The Department of Psychiatry at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is committed to providing residents with a superb and comprehensive training program. We strive to have our trainees increase their knowledge throughout educational and clinical experiences and prepare them for lifelong learning.

Our vision is to support each resident with theoretical and practical knowledge and experience to work independently and proficiently in various areas of psychiatry, including:

  • General Psychiatry Consultation
  • Consultation-liaison
  • Psychotherapy
  • Research and Methodological Literacy
  • Psychiatric Research
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Teaching in Psychiatry
  • Neuropathophysiology
  • Neurostimulation
  • Specialized psychiatry clinics, including: Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) and First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP), Forensic Psychiatry, and Severe and Persistent Mental Illness Clinics

Residents will experience a rich rotational and theoretical curriculum to provide the foundation for a thriving career as a psychiatrist. Consistent with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) Competence by Design (CBD) Curriculum and current medical education practices, our program offers direct clinical teaching with continuous feedback. Built on the columns of practical learning during the rotations and experiential knowledge in lectures and seminars, our residents benefit from the whole day of protected time to focus on their education and training. Additional teaching sessions, offered on full-day academic Thursdays, cover all aspects of psychiatric practice and provide an opportunity for residents to expand their knowledge base and skills.

To facilitate the educational experience throughout the five-year program, we have designed the lectures to meet each year’s residents’ learning needs. In practice, that means each year has its own lecture schedule tailor-fit to residents’ developmental progression and clinical experiences.

In parallel, we provide deep educational opportunities as longitudinal experiences in research, psychotherapy, addiction psychiatry, teaching, interviewing skills, and ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy).

Our mentorship program provides a unique feature for all incoming first-year residents. Following the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMs) match, new residents will partner with existing residents to ensure a smooth transition.  Additionally, our program was a forerunner in delivering an orientation block for the first four weeks of residency. We offer refresher sessions on core general medical competencies in addition to pre-clinical exposure to different aspects of psychiatry practice, including orientation to community resources and the wider mental health system in our city.

Together the mentorship program and robust orientation series support our new trainees’ success and extensively prepare residents for patient care duties.

Western also provides unrivaled exam preparation for our residents. We are one of two programs in Canada to offer a special weeklong Royal College (RC) exam preparation course. These efforts have resulted in a 100% RC passing rate for the past several years.  Additionally, we are the only program that offers Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) preparation sessions for our students.  We provide ongoing educational efforts in areas such as interview skills/formulation, psychotherapy, research skills, and Quality Improvement (QI) throughout the program in addition to OSCE practice sessions throughout PGY2-5.

Our rich clinical experiences anchor these outstanding learning opportunities.  Residents will learn from a diverse patient population across age and illness-severity spectrum with interesting clinical problems to address.  Rotations range from psychiatric intensive care units to community-based family practice sites.  Our world-class faculty bring their expertise and commitment to resident learning to each of the teaching moments.

The highly regarded Research Track offers residents dedicated research time and training from PGY2 to the completion of residency while ensuring the resident meets the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons' of Canada full clinical training requirements.

As academic development depends on continuous research and teaching, we have developed a powerful module to support a high-level education and prosperous future in psychiatry.