Postgraduate Subspecialty Residency Program

UBC was given official standing as a training site for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2012. This is a 24-month program to train residents in Geriatric Psychiatry to be able to write the Subspecialty Royal College Exam.

Geriatric Psychiatry, a psychiatric subspecialty, focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of complex mental disorders uniquely occurring in late life. Geriatric Psychiatry is focused on providing care for intensive need patients and their caregivers at the end of the life cycle, a time when many complex physical and mental health issues coalesce. Geriatric Psychiatry organizes service delivery of psychiatric care to the elderly in multidisciplinary teams and in locations that best serve the needs of this elderly population. Geriatric Psychiatry is engaged in 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 goals of the program include creating a resident who is expected to be a competent specialist in Geriatric Psychiatry and capable of assuming a consultant’s role in the subspecialty. The residents must also acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical basis of the specialty.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Requirements for Geriatric Psychiatry Training
The UBC Program follows the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons training requirements in Geriatric Psychiatry. The Royal College requirements include 24 months of approved residency with eighteen to twenty-one months clinical training, which will include at least twelve months or equivalent devoted to clinical training in core Geriatric Psychiatry, with a minimum of two months or equivalent in each of the following settings: Inpatient (includes inpatient work on psychiatric units or consultation on 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. It will also include at least three months devoted to developing expertise with medical problems commonly associated with psychiatric presentations in older adults. It will also include three months of electives related to the practice of Geriatric Psychiatry. Both the medical rotations and the electives must have a clear geriatric focus. Finally, the Royal College requires 3-6 months of advanced training and/or scholarly activity in education, research, service development or administration, or another area of competency including advocacy or leadership according to individual career goals subject to approval by the Program Director.

The Royal College will allow up to twelve months training at a PGY4 level, to be given credit for dedicated Geriatric Psychiatry at the Program Director’s approval.

The UBC requirements follow the Royal College requirements, but are slightly different. Within the twenty-four month program, UBC requires six months of secondary inpatient with ECT and outpatient or outreach or day hospital and this mix may include psychotherapy cases. It also requires 3-6 months of psychiatry electives, three months of medical rotations, three months of inpatients tertiary care, three months of acute care hospital consult liaison and some urgent care, along with 3-6 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.

UBC will allow up to three months of a PGY4 Program credited to the 24-month Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Program 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 in B.C. can occur in Vancouver, Victoria, or the Fraser Health Authority according to local capacity. UBC can accept four subspecialty Geriatric Psychiatry residents as a maximum in a given year.

It is expected that most residents will be PGY5s and PGY6s, with the PGY5s funded through a general psychiatry program. During the PGY5 and 6 years there may be ½ day allocated for an academic project and there will be a full day allocated for lectures and study time. All residents will follow UBC Department of Psychiatry policies and will have access to UBC Department of Psychiatry resources.

The pay scale is according to the PARI contract at a PGY5 and PGY6 level. Moonlighting is allowed following the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Guidelines. As of July 13, 2013, firm funding has not been established.


All applicants must have their Canadian FRCP or be eligible to write it at the end of their PGY5 year.

Candidates are eligible to start the program after having completed a period of four years of postgraduate training in Psychiatry.

The annual deadline for the application for the residency program in Geriatric Psychiatry is September 12th , for a start date of July 1 in the following calendar year.

Candidates must be eligible for educational license with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.

UBC will accept PGY6 candidates from across Canada.


A completed UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Application Form.

A Personal Statement including the candidates interest in Geriatric Psychiatry. The Personal Statement may include the following: The nature or development of their interest in geriatric psychiatry, their interest in the UBC program specifically, and possible career interests or directions after concluding training in geriatric psychiatry. The personal statement is to be no longer than three pages.

A CV outlining educational background and experiences, scholarly and other accomplishments.

Three letters of reference will be required. One letter is required from the General Residency Training Director indicating that the candidate is in good standing and will have completed the PGY4 year or PGY5 year prior to starting the program. The other two references should be from other psychiatrists that the candidates have worked with. Reference letters must follow the Geriatrics Applications-Letter-of-Reference-Guide 2016

For consideration of enrolment in this program, please submit the documents listed above to the attention of:

Dr. Ashok Krishnamoorthy

Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program,


Shilpa Samji

Senior Education Programs Manager


Tel: 604-875-4111 Ext. 68102

 Applications will be accepted by Email only (PDF/Microsoft Word Format)


Invitations to interview will be extended following an initial screening of the completed applications by the Program Director and Selection Committee. Invitations for interviews will be extended to the selected candidates by October 10th, annually.

Interviews will usually be conducted between October 15-30 annually.

Applicants invited for the interview typically meet 2-3 faculty members on the Selection Committee as well as a current resident.

The Selection Committee reviews the complete file of all of the candidates. The application documents and interviews for each candidate will be evaluated on a number of dimensions. These dimensions include: motivation to enter geriatric psychiatry, knowledge about geriatric psychiatry as a career, self-appraisal, psychological mindedness, interpersonal relatedness, adaptability, scholarly activity/research/education, sense of responsibility, maturity, diversity of experience, and notable personal achievements.

The Selection Committee will advise applicants of their decisions by November 15th  annually.

No candidates will be offered a position without benefit of an interview.

Successful applicants must respond to UBC of their decision to enter the Residency Program by November 22nd annually.

It should be noted that these annual deadlines were established by Program Directors of the accredited Geriatric Psychiatry Residency Programs across the country.


Timelines for Application of 2016-17 Year

  • September 12 – Application Deadline
  • October 10 – Offer for interviews to selected applicants
  • October 17 – Interviews
  • November 15 – Offer letters mailed to selected applicants
  • November 22 – Selected applicants to confirm acceptance to the program

Ashok Krishnamoorthy, MD, FRCPC
Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program,
Department of Psychiatry UBC