Department of Psychiatry

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Subspecialty Program: Applications and Program Information

Applications

Royal College-accredited training programs in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) are designed to be completed in two years. Applicants must have Royal College Certification in Psychiatry or be in enrolled in a Royal College-accredited Psychiatry program. Candidates enrolled in a Royal College-accredited Psychiatry program will typically apply during their PGY 4 year for entry at the beginning of PGY 5, with the understanding that in PGY 5 they will fulfill requirements of both the Psychiatry program and the CAP subspecialty program.

The U of T CAP subspecialty program welcomes applicants with a wide range of interests within the field of child and youth mental health. However, attributes that are particularly valued by our Division and our training program include clinical excellence, innovation that increases service capacity, leadership, scholarship, and advocacy. 

The U of T CAP subspecialty program also welcomes applications from International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with outside funding from approved sponsors, and from candidates completing Psychiatry training at other universities. Such candidates will be considered using the same procedures and standards used for Canadian applicants and those completing Psychiatry training at U of T. We accept approximately four new CAP subspecialty residents each year, but the exact number varies from year to year.

 

Clinical Rotations

Residents in the U of T CAP subspecialty program have considerable freedom to choose from over 10 sites for their clinical rotations, working closely with the program director and site directors to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Royal College.

Although there is some flexibility in the sequence of rotations, the first year of CAP subspecialty training usually includes a six-month inpatient rotation and a six-month ambulatory rotation. In the second year of CAP subspecialty training, residents devote at least six months to their “senior resident experience,” in which they are entrusted with a high level of responsibility for managing the most complex and challenging clinical situations. The remaining six months may be dedicated to clinical or non-clinical (e.g., research, teaching/education) selectives, and residents have a remarkable range of selective opportunities to choose from. Finally, residents must complete the equivalent of one month of CAP emergency care. This is achieved through on-call experiences, although training opportunities in CAP urgent care clinics are also available.

 

Other Clinical Requirements

In addition to the clinical rotations described above, program requirements include psychotherapy training in a variety of modalities, participation in a scholarly project, and attendance at monthly academic days.

Psychotherapy training is guided by the Royal College’s “Objectives of Training in the Subspecialty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,” and residents are expected to have at least two psychotherapy cases at all times throughout the two years of training. For psychotherapy supervision, they enjoy access to an impressive number of supervisors with expertise in a wide range of psychotherapy modalities, including cognitive behavioural, dialectical behavioural, interpersonal, psychodynamic, family, group, and mindfulness.

For their scholarly project, residents are paired with supervisors who share their interests and provide them with guidance, support, and mentorship. Residents with a strong commitment to research or other scholarly pursuits can devote up to six months of selective time to these activities. The program is committed to the training of clinician-scientists in CAP, and has supported residents who have completed both the Royal College Clinician Investigator Program and CAP subspecialty training with great success.

All CAP subspecialty residents come together each month for a full academic day of seminars, which include modules on normal development, critical appraisal, psychopathology, psychotherapy, reflective practice, and various other topics in CAP. In addition, residents are invited to attend weekly grand rounds in children’s mental health, and are expected to present grand rounds once per year.

Residents are actively involved in shaping their own training and contributing to the evolution of the program as a whole. The program director meets with the residents individually every six months to plan their rotations and address any individual concerns. The program director also meets with the residents as a group on a monthly basis to elicit their input and feedback.

The program has one or two Chief Residents who function as a liaison between the residents and the faculty. The Chief Resident(s) and one other resident (elected by peers) are members of the Residency Program Committee (RPC), which meets monthly. The various program subcommittees all have resident representation as well.

 

Royal College Examination in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The U of T CAP subspecialty program prepares residents to sit the Royal College examination in CAP. In order to be eligible for this examination, candidates must already be certified by the Royal College in Psychiatry. The CAP examination is administered once per year in the fall, and it is a written examination that consists of short answer questions. For more information, please visit www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/credentials-exams/exam-eligibility-e.