Program Structure

General Information

Western’s Schulich School of Medicine is affiliated with all London hospitals and excels in research, education, and patient care. London Health Sciences Centre, which is home to Victoria Hospital and University Hospital, is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and includes Adult, Child and Adolescent, Geriatric, and Emergency Psychiatry Services. University Hospital, which is close to the Western University campus, will serve as the facility for many off-service rotations. 

 St. Joseph’s Health Care is a recognized leader in the delivery of compassionate care and research. The mental health division of St. Joseph’s operates Regional Mental Health Care in both London and St. Thomas. It offers specialized programs in Dual Diagnosis, Mood and Anxiety, Psychosis, Concurrent Disorders (treating comorbid Addictions and Mental Health), and Forensic Psychiatry.

 The Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care has a Forensic Psychiatry facility in St. Thomas. Residents have the opportunity for didactic teaching as well as clinical experience (including opportunities to participate in Ontario Review Boards as well as the Consent and Capacity Boards) during elective rotations at this site.

 Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) offers services emphasizing children with developmental delays, neurological and medical problems, including assessment, consultation, treatment, research, and education.

 Vanier Children’s Services is a licensed and accredited children’s mental health centre recognized as a leader in helping children and youth age 0 to 14 with emotional and behavioural issues and their families. Services include crisis intervention, residential services, day treatment, early years programming and various attachment therapies, individual psychotherapy, community outreach, psychiatric and psychological services, and in-home support services.

 Lawson Health Research Institute is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, London. As one of Canada’s largest hospital-based research institutes, Lawson is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care worldwide. Within the Institute, a 'bench to bedside' approach to medical research is encouraged, which means that researchers focus their efforts on developing new knowledge that can be applied directly to patient care within the hospitals.

 While there are no mandatory rural rotations, we fully support and encourage the rural experience with support from Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network (SWOMEN) and Ontario Psychiatric Postgraduate Education Network (OPPEN).

 Training Program Information

Western’s psychiatry training program is multi-faceted and draws on our dedicated consultants’ strengths and our mental health network.

 Clinical teaching is a core component of the curriculum, even more so now with the launch of Competence by Design (CBD). In our program, you will learn about interviewing, pharmacology, psychotherapy, other biological treatments, and different dimensions of patient assessment and management in all care settings and with all patient types mandated by the RCPSC. These include Inpatient Psychiatry, Outpatient Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Shared Care, and treatment of Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). There are also various specialized clinics available for elective rotations.

 Our program also provides longitudinal practical teaching throughout residency in interview skills/STACER preparation, formulation, psychotherapy, research skills, and Quality Improvement (QI).

 Direct supervision and in situ feedback make these experiences highly valuable for developing competencies across psychiatry practice. Residents receive increasing levels of responsibility throughout their training to facilitate optimal development of skills.

 Teaching sessions complement the clinical curriculum and cover all aspects of mental health, its assessment, and its treatment. Academic Thursdays provide a full day of teaching sessions in varying formats, discussing the full range of mental health diagnoses and interventions.

 Practice sessions for the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) exam run throughout PGY2-5, including full practice OSCE exams every six months.

 Starting in PGY1, residents have quarterly “semi-annual review” meetings with the Program Director or Associate Program Director throughout residency to examine outcomes from the competence committee file review and discuss goals and strategies for competency development. Our program’s medium size allows each resident to have their goals closely supported by the Program Director and the consultants, with easy access to mentorship opportunities with specialists in diverse areas of clinical and research expertise.

Our new formal staff mentoring program will be in place for PGY2-5 in 2020-2021. It will ensure that residents have access to support and advice on advancement in residency and career development, beyond the semi-annual reviews, from mentors who share their interests and priorities.