Subspecialty and Clinician Investigator Program

UBC Irving K Barber Learning Center

The UBC department of Psychiatry offers subspeciality training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. Training is provided in diverse training and clinical sites and in diverse populations offering innovative approaches to mental health care delivery. Research and scholarly activities are available to all subspecialty trainees. Additionally, those aiming for an academic career will be eligible to apply to the Clinician Investigator Program.

Subspecialty Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Subspecialty Residency Training Program (Director: Dr. Jennifer Russel)

The UBC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program (CAP) is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, which requires at least 18 months of clinical training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In addition to these training requirements, the program offers:

  1. Training in all subspecialty areas of child psychiatry, including forensics OCD, selective mutism, somatic symptom disorders, and eating disorders, among others
  2. Exposure to different models of care and clinical settings including forensics, inpatient care, and emergency and consult-liaison services, outreach, telehealth, and indirect consultation services for primary care providers
  3. Extensive psychotherapy experiences in a wide range of individual and group psychotherapy techniques including CBT, DBT, IPT-A, Mindfulness, psychodynamic therapy, parent-child relationship
  4. Psychopharmacology training through a 5-week selective with the clinical pharmacist providing consultation to inpatient wards and complex patients at BC Children’s Hospital
  5. Community-based clinical electives, including (but not limited to): child and youth mental health teams, school liaison service, residential programs, forensics consultations, and inner-city youth programs within the school system, for at-risk youth
  6. Research opportunities. Residents in PGY6 participate in the academic curriculum day, which covers a comprehensive range of topics and are encouraged to engage in a Scholarly Activity or other research projects through a variety of options offered through the Brain, Behaviour and Development Program.

There are four main training sites:

Vancouver – British Columbia Children’s Hospital (BCCH)

There are a number of inpatient and outpatient clinics and services at BCCH. There are child, adolescent, crisis, and eating disorder inpatient units, as well as a consultation-liaison service. The outpatient clinic consists of the Teaching, Infant, Mood and Anxiety, ADHD, Neuropsychiatry, Reproductive Psychiatry, and Gender Clinics. There is a province-wide multi-disciplinary indirect consultation service at BCCH as well as telehealth. The psychotherapy program is very strong and runs a family therapy clinic and provides supervision for different psychotherapy modalities. There are a large number of group psychotherapies for children/youth and families at BCCH as well. Additionally, residents can rotate through the Carlile Youth Concurrent Disorders Centre in North Vancouver.

Surrey – Surrey Memorial Hospital

There are two inpatient psychiatric services that provide tertiary psychiatric assessments and treatment to children and adolescents throughout the Fraser Health Authority. The Outpatient Department consists of Teaching Clinic, Infant Clinic, Neuropsychiatric Clinic, Child and Youth Crisis Program, Family Therapy Clinic, and the Adolescent Day Treatment Program. The Outpatient Department has a number of experienced Child Psychiatrists providing direct supervision as well as teaching on a range of childhood disorders with provision of longer duration of follow up and therapy.

Prince George – University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC)

In Prince George, inpatient services for child psychiatry include APAU, Pediatrics, and a few other medical units. APAU is for mental health assessments and treatment of adolescents for Prince George and the region. The outpatient mental health services include Childhood Development Center, Private Office, and Intersect Youth and Family Services.

Vancouver Island – Ledger/Anscomb and Victoria General Hospital

The inpatient child and adolescent facilities in Victoria are located at Victoria General Hospital for the acute management of patients presenting with psychiatric issues and Ledger for those patients who require more than several days of inpatient hospitalization. There are a variety of outpatient experiences that are continuing to evolve over time. The primary outpatient experiences are at Anscomb and included the Developmental Disability and Mental Health Team, the Youth Clinic at the Foundry, and the Child and Youth Mental Health Teams.

Applications for the CAP Residency positions starting in 2023 are now closed. Information about the process is provided in the Application Information Package (doc). Dates for the 2024 intake will be announced in due course.

Queries and submission of applications should be directed to the program coordinator using the subject line: CAP Subspecialty

Subspecialty Training in Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic Psychiatry (Director Dr. Kulwant Riar, Program Director, Barinder Singh, Associate Program Director)

The University of British Columbia offers a one-year PGY6 Forensic Psychiatry Training Program. The program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and meets their training requirements in Forensic Psychiatry. Psychiatrists who successfully complete the training program will be eligible to write the Royal College certification examination in Forensic Psychiatry. This PGY6 training position is funded through the University of British Columbia under the terms of the Collective Agreement for PAR-BC Professional Association of Residents of British Columbia.

Training Goals

The goal of the UBC PGY6 forensic psychiatry program is to train residents to achieve competency in applying the forensic psychiatric approach to assessment and treatment in criminal and civil legal contexts and adult and youth forensic and correctional settings.  In accordance with the Royal College’s requirements, the program provides six months of core training in criminal matters related to Forensic Psychiatry, followed by six months of rotations in civil forensic psychiatry, youth forensic psychiatry, and correctional psychiatry. Our training program provides exposure to all aspects of forensic psychiatry in inpatient, outpatient, and correctional settings, including the assessment of fitness to stand trial, criminal responsibility, disability and personal injury, and risk for violence.

Training includes the treatment and management of people who have been found Unfit to Stand Trial, Not Criminally Responsible on account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD), and youth and adult probationers and correctional inmates. Sexual behaviours and risk assessment training is incorporated longitudinally throughout the twelve months of training. Forensic research is available as a selective training option. Our program recognizes the value of training diversification and encourages residents to consider a selective training rotation at another Canadian forensic psychiatry training program as part of the training year. An academic curriculum covering a range of topics including expert witness work, criminal forensic psychiatry, violence risk assessment, youth forensic psychiatry, civil forensic psychiatry, correctional psychiatry, research, and special populations and topics is also provided throughout the twelve months of training.

Training Sites

The training sites are a mix of inpatient and outpatient settings located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. There are opportunities for training in other locations beyond the Lower Mainland throughout British Columbia.

The core training site for Criminal Forensic Psychiatry is the 190-bed Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam and the six regional forensic clinics. The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital is part of the BC Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission which is a service that provides forensic mental health care and specialized treatment throughout British Columbia. A network of regional forensic clinics provides outpatient care. The clinics are located in Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops, and Prince George.

The Youth Forensic Psychiatry rotation is a mix of inpatient and outpatient settings. The main training site will be in Burnaby at the Inpatient Assessment Unit, outpatient clinic and Youth Custody Centre. These training sites are part of the BC Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services network that, like the adult forensic service, provides forensic mental health care and specialized treatment throughout British Columbia. There are eight regional youth forensic clinics located in Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Prince George.

The Civil Forensic Psychiatry rotation training sites are in private forensic practice offices.

The Correctional Psychiatry rotation training site is with the Correctional Service of Canada at the 192-bed Regional Treatment Centre at Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. Other possible correctional training sites include federal medium and maximum-security institutions, a federal women’s institution, provincial correctional facilities, and parole offices in the Lower Mainland.

Role of Clinical Faculty

The clinical faculty in the University of British Columbia Forensic Psychiatry Division are a diverse group. Trainees will have an opportunity to work with clinical faculty members with a broad range of forensic psychiatric practices. Some of our clinical faculty are forensic psychiatrists primarily engaged in forensic treatment and management work; others are in private practice doing a range of expert witness work; some engage in both forensic psychiatry and general psychiatry practice. The breadth of exposure to clinical faculty with different forensic practices is a principal ingredient in the residents’ development into generalists in forensic psychiatry.

Applying for the Subspecialty Program in Forensic Psychiatry

Applications for the positions starting in 2023 are now closed. Information about the process is provided in the Application Information Package. Dates for the 2024 intake will be announced in due course.

Queries and submission of applications should be directed to the program coordinator using the subject line: Forensic Subspecialty.

News & Updates

Forensic Psychiatry Residency Education | Faculty Newsletter | May 10th, 2023

Forensic Psychiatry Residency Education | Faculty Newsletter | May 4th, 2023

Subspecialty Training in Geriatric Psychiatry

Subspecialty Residency Training Program: Geriatric Psychiatry (Director: Dr Ashok Krishnamoorthy)

The UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, which requires 24 months of clinical training in Geriatric Psychiatry.  Geriatric Psychiatry provides care for neuropsychiatric patients at the end of the life cycle when many complex physical and mental health issues coalesce. Service delivery involves is multidisciplinary teams and is offered in a range of locations that best serve the needs of this elderly population. Additionally, Geriatric Psychiatry places great emphasis on advocacy and development of health policy and planning related to late life mental illness and mental health, caregiver and care provider support, and systems of care.

The Program aims to equip residents with the competencies and theoretical knowledge required for assuming a consultant’s role in the subspecialty. As per the Royal College’s requirements:

  1. Eighteen to twenty-one months are dedicated to clinical training, which will include at least twelve months or equivalent devoted to clinical training in core Geriatric Psychiatry. Specifically, a minimum of two months or equivalent should involve training in each of the following settings: Inpatient (includes inpatient work on psychiatric units or consultation in other inpatient settings), Ambulatory Care (including outpatient or day hospital), or Outreach visits at patients’ places of residence, and this must include a long-term care component. Additionally, at least three months must be devoted to developing expertise with medical problems commonly associated with psychiatric presentations in older adults and electives related to the practice of Geriatric Psychiatry. Both the medical rotations and the electives must have a clear geriatric focus.
  2. Three to six months of advanced training and/or scholarly activity in education, research, service development or administration, or another area of competency that could involve advocacy or leadership according to individual career goals and subject to approval by the Program Director.
  3. The Royal College will allow up to twelve months of training at a PGY4 level, to be given credit toward Geriatric Psychiatry subject to the Program Director’s approval. Our program allows up to three months of a PGY4 Program to be credited at the discretion of the Program Director for Geriatric Psychiatry. This will not change the requirement of a 24-month Geriatric Psychiatry Program in PGY5 and 6; it will just allow for increased elective time.

Training sites are located in Vancouver, Victoria, or the Fraser Health Authority. Implementation of the program at UBC  involves (a) six months of secondary inpatient with ECT and outpatient or outreach or day hospital and this mix may include psychotherapy cases; (b) three to six months of psychiatry electives; (c) three months of medical rotations; (d) three months of inpatients tertiary care; (d) three months of acute care hospital consult liaison and some urgent care, and e) three to six months of an advanced practice project. All medical rotations and electives must be approved by the Program Director, with specific Objectives of Training approved by the Subspecialty Geriatric Psychiatry Program. There is one mandatory rural rotation outside of the main rotation sites in Lower Mainland and Victoria, from a minimum of one month to a maximum of three months.

Applications for the Geriatric Psychiatry Residency positions starting in 2023 are now closed. Information about the process is provided in the Application Information Package (pdf). Dates for the 2024 intake will be announced in due course. The Program also offers Fellowship opportunities for International Medical Graduates (pdf).

Queries and submission of applications should be directed to the program coordinator using the subject line: Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty

Clinician Investigator Program

The UBC Clinician Investigator Program offers UBC residents  the opportunity to pursue Master, PhD or other postgraduate studies through a RCPSC accredited program. The program is fully funded for two years during which residents can gain research experience both within UBC but also in other institutions.

View details of the Program and Process of Application