Forensic Psychiatry

An Overview

The University of Toronto Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Program offers a comprehensive and innovative training program. We combine diverse training experiences in all core, selective, and elective components of forensic psychiatry, that are available within academic and community sites.  In addition, we deliver a core curriculum series throughout the year, which covers all medical expert content and beyond. Our priority is to ensure that graduating residents are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to be competent forensic psychiatrists. We also strive to build our forensic communities of practice that serve as vehicles for lifelong learning, collaborations, and collegiality.

The main training sites are comprised of one fully affiliated academic teaching hospital (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – CAMH - in Toronto), and two community-affiliated hospitals (Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene).  CAMH offers 180 inpatient beds spread across an assessment unit, and secure and general forensic rehabilitation units. The forensic outpatient service at CAMH is comprised of over 250 patients. In addition, there are several specialized clinics including The Sexual Behaviours Clinic which conducts phallometric testing and sex offender relapse prevention programs. The Psycholegal Clinic and Brief Assessment Unit houses a large variety of assessments referred from court, defense, and civil settings. Waypoint offers a unique experience within a high secure forensic setting for the highest risk individuals in the province.

Residents have access to many more training sites, including male and female correctional centres, youth facilities, and mental health courts. Rural forensic training experiences may also be facilitated in Kenora, Ontario and Iqualuit.

Advanced training is available in all selective domains, including sexual behaviours, violence risk, child and youth, corrections, and civil forensic psychiatry. In addition, the program supports and encourages research activities. The University of Toronto is the home of internationally renowned researchers, and CAMH is a leader in forensic research productivity. 

Aspects of the Toronto’s program that residents particularly enjoy include: access to over 50 forensic psychiatrists; a Transition to Practice lunchtime series hosted by different faculty; report writing workshops, psychological testing workshops, and a comprehensive Academic Half Day curriculum that encompasses all main content domains of the field. We also incorporate mock trials and teaching by inter-professional experts such as lawyers, judges, and psychologists. In addition to preparing residents for practice, these experiences provide a strong knowledge base for the Royal College Subspecialty examination.

Resident wellness and fostering leadership skills are important aspects of our program. We offer both wellness and leadership workshops through the Postgraduate Medical Education Office. Our Wellness Strategy is also a standing item at our Forensic Psychiatry Residency Program Committee, where an elected resident representative sits as a contributing member.

In summary we pride ourselves in providing a high standard of training, that prioritizes your success and well-being, within a collegial, inclusive, and positive learning environment. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about our forensic subspecialty training program. You can email the Program Director, Dr. Sumeeta Chatterjee, directly at sumeeta.chatterjee@camh.ca, or contact our administrative assistant at subspecialty.psych@utoronto.ca. We would love to hear from you.

Additional funding pathway

We are pleased to draw your attention to an additional funding pathway that is available in order to secure a position in the forensic subspecialty program. From time to time the University may not be able to fund training positions for all deserving candidates. Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care is funding an additional training position this year for an eligible candidate who wouldn’t otherwise be able to be funded through the University of Toronto.

Waypoint will provide salary support for one forensic subspecialty trainee who: a) meets the training program’s bar to be accepted into the program and b) commits to a one year return of service agreement with Waypoint.

Less than two hours north of Toronto, on beautiful Georgian Bay, Waypoint is a 301 bed psychiatric hospital providing high secure forensic assessment and rehabilitation. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Chantelle Shervill, Manager of Medical Affairs at cshervill@waypointcentre.ca or 705-549-3181 x2206. Please be assured that Waypoint will keep all inquiries confidential; the subspecialty program will not know which candidates are willing to be considered for the return of service position.

Policies regarding IMG including return of service or funding

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with outside funding from approved sponsors are eligible to apply to the U of T subspecialty programs in Forensic Psychiatry. Like all eligible applicants, they must have Royal College Certification in Psychiatry or be enrolled in a Royal College-accredited Psychiatry program. Their applications will be considered using the same procedures and standards used for Canadian applicants. All applicants will be ranked according to the merits of their application, and will be considered for acceptance only if they are deemed to be sufficiently competent and likely to succeed in the program. Based on their ranking and the number of funded positions available, Canadian applicants who meet the standard of competence will be offered acceptance first. IMGs with outside funding who meet the same standard may then be offered acceptance if the program has the capacity to accommodate them.

Requirements for submission

Applications MUST be submitted electronically to: subspecialty.psych@utoronto.ca         

An application is deemed to be complete when all of the following components have been received:

  1. Application Form: fully completed and signed
  2. Updated CV
  3. Letter of Intent
  4. Residency Experience Form: fully completed
  5. Copy of your ITERS from your General Psychiatry training
  6. *Letter of Good Standing from Current Residency Program Director
  7. *Reference Letters (2 are to be provided)

Psychiatry subspecialties webpage

Administrative coordinator contact: subspecialty.psych@utoronto.ca