The past academic year has been characterized by outstanding work in all the education portfolios in the Department of Psychiatry.
The Undergraduate Program continues to flourish under the leadership of Dr. Raed Hawa. Curriculum within the Clerkship Program has been successfully standardized and is highly rated across the training sites. Exit surveys of the graduating classes across the country indicate that University of Toronto students are very satisfied with their undergraduate psychiatric education. This year also saw the successful launch of the Psychiatric Longitudinal Experience (PSYC-Le) which offers medical students the opportunity to shadow a psychiatrist in either an office or hospital setting to develop a sense of what it is like to be a psychiatrist as well as enhance students’ comfort with patients with mental illness. Another highlight this year was the fact that over 100 electives were taken from students across Canada and internationally in the Department of Psychiatry.
The Postgraduate Program continues to innovate in order to provide residents with a high quality educational experience. Under the leadership of Dr. Ari Zaretsky, a new mentorship program has been developed, new assessment tools are being developed and implemented to enhance feedback for residents and the M-BRITE wellness curriculum was successfully piloted. Additionally workshops on entrustable professional activities and a new faculty orientation were provided to faculty members. These are only a few examples of the multiple initiatives evolving in our program.
The Continuing Education Program is extraordinarily successful and among the largest in the Faculty of Medicine. Under the leadership of Dr. Sagar Parikh, this program offers a wealth of both short-term and long-term continuing education courses and has been recognized with a number of awards. The Fellowship Program of the Department which now is one of the largest in the Faculty of Medicine. The Fellowship Program offers more centralized activities than ever before, including including the Fellows’ Research Day, an annual reception and a number of awards and bursaries available for outstanding fellows.
Another exciting development was that the University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry is the only university thus far in Canada to have received accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for the following three subspecialties: Geriatric Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Rob Madan, Dr. John Langley and Dr. Lisa Ramshaw along with their respective committees have worked diligently in preparing for the first cohort of subspecialty residents to arrive in the next academic year. Drawing on their expertise as leaders in psychiatric education in Canada, they have presented on and/or are preparing to present their experiences of establishing new educational programs at local rounds and both national and international meetings.
The academic partner of the educational administrative structure is the RISE program (Research, Innovation, and Scholarship in Education) within the Division of the Psychotherapies, Humanities and Education Scholarship which continues to contribute to the quality and best practices of education across the Department.
Susan Lieff Md, MEd, MMann