The Postgraduate Training Program in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto is the largest of its kind in North America. It has over 185 residents training in 15 sites across the city and 9 sites in five cities in the North (Mississauga, North Bay, Sault St. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Whitby).
The training sites in Toronto include 6 general hospitals (Toronto General, Toronto Western, Mount Sinai, St. Michael’s, Sunnybrook, and Women’s College; one large psychiatric centre, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), encompassing three sites (Queen Street, College Street, and Russell Street); two adult specialty hospitals (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Princess Margaret Hospital); 6 child teaching sites (Hospital for Sick Children, Sickkids Centre for Community Mental Health (Formerly Hincks-Dellcrest), Humber River Regional Hospital, George Hull Centre, CAMH Child and Adolescent Program, and Surrey Place) and 4 community teaching hospitals (North York General Hospital, Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital), St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences).
We have added two teaching sites based in Mississauga: Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre. Residents spend variable amounts of time rotating through these teaching sites during their five years of training. Each site has a local coordinator for postgraduate education, each of whom sits on the Postgraduate Education Committee.
Who Should Come to U of T?
- If you want to enjoy all that a big city has to offer during your residency
- If you want to become a well-trained general psychiatrist
- If you have an interest in research
Highlights of the Psychiatry Program:
- Largest psychiatry residency program in North America
- Diverse opportunities to branch out with 8 established Divisions
- Active and supportive Psychiatric Residents Association of Toronto (PRAT) involved in all departmental committees
- Protected research time for residents and a Clinician Scientist Program
- Prospective CMG (Canadian Medical Graduates) and IMG (international medical graduates) Residents:
We highly encourage any applicants interested in applying to CaRMS to carefully review the University of Toronto CaRMS description for Psychiatry.
Applications will be reviewed by a team of reviewers to determine whether or not the applicant has met the program admission and selection criteria and the standard for an interview. If candidates are deemed acceptable by the program residency training committee, we then attempt to secure funding to support the transfer from the University PGME Office. A position can never be offered until all the funding to support a candidate has been confirmed. Securing funding from the University is an inherently uncertain process and it may take until May or even June before funding capacity is certain.
Please note that there are transfer guidelines to assist with local (University of Toronto) and national transfer requests – both guidelines can be viewed online.
The first point of contact is your home PGME office to register your interest in a possible transfer.
Accreditation Status- RCPSC
Mandatory Core Rotations
For the last three years, the Psychiatry training program at the University of Toronto has been running a highly successful competency-based curriculum in PGY1. We believe this pilot will inform training across the country as the specialty formally moves towards competency-based education.
For the July 2019 academic year, for the second year, ALL entrants to our program will start in this new, modern curriculum. The Standard new PGY1 year consists of an initial transition to discipline known as the “Springboard”. This is intended to provide all trainees with a basic foundation in medical and psychiatric skills before they advance to their clinical rotations. Learners will receive feedback on strengths and areas of potential deficit so that the subsequent learning trajectory can be optimized and personalized. The rest of the year consists of 12 four-week rotations in a variety of disciplines.
The clinical rotations consist of three blocks (each block = 4 weeks ) of psychiatry (a combination of emergency psychiatry and psychiatry and consultation-liaison/medical psychiatry), two blocks of internal medicine, and one blocks each of emergency medicine, palliative care, neurology, behavioural neurology, and one week of neuroimaging. PGY1s will complete either one block of family medicine or pediatrics. The remaining two blocks include an elective opportunity and an underserved selective block in which a selective is chosen that will enable the learner to work with an underserved population (underserved is broadly defined and may include issues of geography, race, sexuality, gender or socioeconomic status). The PGY 1 experience now includes a new longitudinal ambulatory clinic in which has been a highly rated experience that allows trainees to develop important psychiatry skills earlier in training. In addition, it may be possible to spend up to two blocks in research activities during the PGY1 year. In PGY1, half a day each week is devoted to core didactic teaching.
All University of Toronto Residents entering PGY1 will be required to complete the web based PGCorEd© core competency modules as part of their residency program certification. These modules provide the foundation for the non-Medical Expert roles for the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Programs and the 4-Principles for The College of Family Physicians of Canada Family Medicine program.
These modules must be completed before the end of the PGY2 year.
PGY-2 to 5
Our PGY2 curriculum is also competency-based and consists of four (4) months each of child, geriatric and inpatient psychiatry rotations. These rotations, along with those of the next two years (PGY 3 and 4), constitute the core training requirements mandated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and we anticipate that learners will participate in our ongoing competency-based curriculum to cover topics in chronic care, consultation-liaison, and addictions. This includes a longitudinal ambulatory experience that stretches across all 5 years of training. There is substantially more elective/selective time earlier in training in an attempt to allow residents the opportunity to better choose their career path/areas of interest. Exposure to the geriatric and child and adolescent sub-specialties has been moved earlier in training (PGY2) to help residents make a more informed choice about whether or not they would like to pursue those sub-specialty training programs and to provide learners with an appreciation of mental illness across the lifespan.
In their final year (PGY5) trainees will train in integrated mental health care (also known as shared or collaborative mental health care), a longitudinal training experience in a community or primary care setting relevant to their career interests, where they can consolidate their knowledge and skills by acting as a junior consultant, working inter-professionally, and preparing to transition to practice. These unique training experiences emphasize the Collaborator, Leader and Advocate CanMEDS roles, and residents have the opportunity to contribute to educating other providers, program development and/or evaluation, quality improvement, and /or advocacy work. The Integrated Care experience is a key component of our Department’s strategic plan and represents our effort to respond to the needs of our community, build capacity for improved access and quality of mental health care, and prepare future psychiatrists for practicing and leading in a rapidly evolving health care system. PGY5 residents also choose 2 half-year or a full year selective rotations from the a wide variety of disciplines, including general psychiatry, various modes of psychotherapy, child and adolescent psychiatry, mood and anxiety disorders, medical psychiatry, schizophrenia, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, culture and community health, women's mental health, addictions, neuroscience, health and humanities and psychiatric education.
-Residents may travel inter-provincially and/or internationally to do electives for a maximum of 6 months over the course of training.
-The ratio of faculty to residents is 880:190.
-There are no mandatory rural rotations, but many elective opportunities.
Towards the end of the general psychiatry postgraduate program, residents may apply for subspecialty training in any of the three new Royal College subspecialty programs in Child & Adolescent, Geriatric, or Forensic Psychiatry. In addition, numerous post-residency fellowships are available for advanced training. Subspecialty training during PGY- 5 for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry may potentially be applied to these 2 year Royal College subspecialties.
PGY2 through PGY5 residents will obtain extensive psychotherapy training through supervision and seminars in: long-term and short-term psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy, inter- personal psychotherapy and multi-person therapies including couple, family and group therapy.
PGY3, PGY4 and PGY5 trainees also have the opportunity to participate in half- day electives outside their core hospital rotation.
Integrated Care Training
Integrated Care training experiences afford unique perspectives on our health care system, including understanding the needs of people receiving care outside of the psychiatric system (e.g. before, after, or instead of receiving psychiatric care), and appreciating what support their health care and social service providers need from us as physicians and psychiatric specialists. Through this training you will gain a better understanding of community needs, and have an experience of consulting to a team and organization to meet the mental health and addictions needs of a defined population.
In the past, the IMG office used to approve a very small number of applications each year. However, this has been phased out as of January 2016, due to numerous reasons. Despite this, the vast majority of IMG observerships have been obtained by IMGs through their own initiatives (i.e. contacting faculty, hospital departments themselves).
We continue to encourage IMGs interested in securing an observership to:
- Review our postgraduate website to learn more about our program
- Read and learn about the various activities happening in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto (free public lectures, events like Mindfest, etc.) and participate or attend those events if interested and available to do so
- Learn about the various areas of research and education our faculty are involved in and if interested in someone’s work, consider contacting them directly to learn more about their work or their field
- Consider contacting the various hospital departments of psychiatry to see if there is someone offering an observership opportunity, or consider contacting individual faculty whose work you’ve read about or learned about to see if they are taking on observers
- Attend conferences where University of Toronto psychiatry faculty will be speaking to learn more about their work
- Please be aware that securing an observership in our program is not a mandatory part of our selection process for CaRMS (i.e. if you have psychiatry observerships from other programs these are also viewed as valuable)
Please be aware that our faculty are very keen to teach and supervise however they also have a number of educational demands placed on them, and many who do offer observerships can only do a few a year as a result. Planning well in advance (often a year at times) is key if you are trying to look for one.
If you have additional questions after reviewing the information above, you can contact the postgraduate office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alpna Munshi