Undergraduate Student Electives

In psychiatry we need time to set up an elective as we need to check schedules of physicians in the area(s) of interest(s) you have listed. The more areas of interests (child, forensics, geriatric, adult, CL, etc.) you provide the more physicians can be asked. There are 4 possible sites (CHEO, TOH-Civic Campus, TOH-General Campus, The Royal) where your elective could take place.

 

Specific for uOttawa MS1 and MS2 electives, we need the following information.

  1. How many hours you are looking to cover.
  2. Dates and times you can physically meet your preceptor at his/her site.
     

Non-Ottawa University students looking to book a 4th year elective, please apply through the AFMC portal
 

For all inquiries, please contact:

Khadije Sobh
Undergraduate Education Coordinator
Undergraduate Education Program
Department of Psychiatry
Room 5458 - 1145 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1Z 7K4
613-722-6521 ext. 6811
psyugme@uottawa.ca
 

If you are an international medical student, physician assistant student or a licensed physician and looking to do an observership/internship please contact the specific Hospital’s Medical Affairs Office:

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre:
Debra Monroe
(613) 722-6521 x 6937
Debra.Munroe@theroyal.ca

The Ottawa Hospital – Civic & General:
Jessica Chamberlain
(613)798-5555 x 10655
medicalaffairs@toh.ca

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Jennifer Milleson
(613) 737-7600 x 2243
mso@cheo.on.ca

Adult Psychiatry

Elective: Acute General Inpatient Psychiatry

Objectives: To provide the student with the opportunity to participate in diagnostic interviewing and in the management of acute psychiatric illnesses. During this rotation, students will manage many disorders including mood disorders, psychotic disorders and personality disorders.

Description: The student will work closely with the junior resident on the team, both being under the immediate supervision of the attending. An evidence-based approach is fundamental. With an average length of stay of 14 days, rapid resolution of symptoms is sought. The student will be encouraged to participate in interviewing patients and to participate actively in diagnostic formulations and treatment plans. In addition to learning about psychopharmacology and ECT, the student will learn some empathic listening skills in order to develop a therapeutic relationship.

  • Supervisor(s): Drs. Veronica McCarthy, John Moise, Laura Campbell,  Eric Mikhail, and Irina Lepatadu.
  • Location: The Ottawa Hospital (Civic and General campus)
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 2-3
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students 

Elective: Mood and Anxiety

Objective: The medical student will join a team including nursing, social work, pharmacy, dietitian, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, psychiatric residents, and psychiatric staff, in the assessment and management of patients admitted to a specialized mood and anxiety disorders inpatient unit with the possibility of participating in the assessment and management of patients referred to the mood and anxiety disorders outpatient unit if there is interest and availability.

Description: The student will be fully integrated into the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. Depending on their individual comfort and experience with performing a psychiatric evaluation, students may initially observe patient assessments but will be expected to quickly move on to doing patient assessments independently, with support and supervision from residents and staff. Students will improve their interviewing skills and advance their ability to integrate the information into practical treatment plans. Diagnostic and formulation skills will improve in supervision and discussions with the multidisciplinary team. Students will gain an understanding of an approach to the complex psychiatric patient with treatment-resistant mood disorder and/or unclear diagnosis. Teamwork is important in this rotation, as the unit runs collaboratively. Depending on availability, there may be an opportunity to observe the administration of intranasal or IV ketamine, rTMS, and ECT. There will be multiple opportunities to participate in rounds, team meetings, journal club, and psychopharmacological reviews, as well as to attend and participate in various therapeutic and psychoeducational groups offered on the ward or in the outpatient department.

  • Supervisor: Drs. Katerina. Nikolitch, Ebad Habibollahzadeh and Amol Vaze.
  • Duration: 2-4 weeks
  • Location: The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • Number of students: 2-3
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students

Elective: Schizophrenia

Objectives: The medical student will join a team including nursing, social work, occupational therapist, dietitian, recreational therapist, psychologist, pharmacist psychiatric residents and psychiatric staff, in the assessment and management of patients referred to a specialized schizophrenia program.

Description: The Schizophrenia Program utilizes a team approach. Each member of the team has a wide range of experience dealing specifically with schizophrenia and related disorders. Students will have opportunity to interact with patients and various team members during their admission and in outpatient setting. They will also learn the role of each team member in providing individualized and comprehensive care for patients. The student will initially observe patient assessments, but soon moving on to doing patient assessments. Over the three- four weeks the medical student will improve their interviewing skills, and advance their ability to integrate the information into practical treatment plans. Diagnostic skills will advance also, and there is ample opportunity for supervision by residents and by psychiatric staff. Understanding the Mental Health Act, developing competence in basic risk assessment, introduction to pharmacological and psychological treatment of persons with complex psychotic illness and a recovery model of treatment in schizophrenia are examples of areas emphasized in this rotation.

  • Supervisor(s): Drs. David Atwood, Alain Labelle, Tabitha Rogers, Alex Baines, Olabisi Owoeye and Naista Zhand.
  • Location: The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1-2
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students

Elective: Schizophrenia Research

Objectives: To obtain familiarity with the scientific method and the acquisition of new knowledge through a mentored research experience

Description: This elective aims to increase skills of the student to identify, develop, and answer scientific questions. There are a number of ongoing studies at the schizophrenia program which students can choose from. Depending on the stage of the available studies, the students may partake in various activities including critical appraisal of the literature, data collection, recruitment, analysis, review, writing abstracts and possibly manuscripts. Students are encouraged to contact the supervisor in advance, to discuss their research interest and know more about the available projects at the time of their elective.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr Naista Zhand.
  • Location: The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • Duration: 3-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students
Child Psychiatry

Elective: Pediatric BNCL

Objectives:

  • Behavioural Neuroscience and Consultation Liaison

Description: Provides mental health consultation, neuropsychological assessment and time-limited interventions for CHEO inpatients and outpatients who have both medical and mental health issues, impacting on their adjustment, treatment or recovery.  BNCL team members offer different perspectives with backgrounds from psychiatry, psychology, and nursing. Children and youth from 0-18 years who present with both medical and mental health issues that impact on their adjustment and medical management can be referred to the BNCL Team.

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: All age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisor (Faculty lead): Drs. Sophia Hrycko, and Sinthu Suntharalingam
  • Location: CHEO main site 6th floor 6 West
  • Duration: 2-4 weeks
  • Number of Students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd-year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates, Christmas holiday shutdown, and 1 week in August

Elective: Pediatric Inpatient General

Objectives: Working with a 19 bed unit, youth’s age 17 or less and working with a multidisciplinary team.

Description: 19-bed unit ( 4 des on 6 North, 15 beds on 6 east, offers crisis management, behavioural stabilization, medication review and diagnostic clarification. These patients are admitted from the Emergency Services or Crisis from Outpatient services.

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: All age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisor (Faculty lead) : Dr. Addo Boafo, Dr. Fred Stocker, Dr. Erinna Brown
  • Location: CHEO main site 6th floor 6 East inpatient unit
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Number of students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd-year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates, Christmas holiday shutdown and 1 week in August

Elective: Pediatric Outpatient Services

Objectives: Outpatient psychiatry rotation offers the opportunity to work with children and adolescents with a wide range of problems including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma and stress related disorders, ADHD, behaviour disorders, autism spectrum and early psychosis.

Description: Emphasis is on developing the student’s ability t diagnose developing a biopsychosocial formulation, make comprehensive recommendations and provide treatment for children and teens within their family context. Various modalities of treatment include psychopharmacology, CBT, DBT, parent skill development, family therapy, and groups. We use the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA). Residents learn to do Choice appointments in which patient and family needs and goals are identified and to work in partnership with the patient/family toward the goals.

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: All age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisor (Faculty lead): Dr. Erin Kelly, Dr. Dhiraj Aggarwal, Dr. Hazen Gandy, Dr. Katherine Matheson ( maternity) Dr. Lara Postl, Dr. Helene Cadotte, Dr. Mike Cheng, Dr. Marjorie Robb, Dr. Olivia Macleod, Dr. Rishi Kapur
  • Location: CHEO main site 6th floor and 9-1661 Montreal Road
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Number of students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd-year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates, Christmas holiday shutdown and 1 week in August

Elective: Urgent Care

Objectives: Outpatient consultation Services for urgent/crisis referrals

Description: Mental Health assessments are provided to children and youth (under 18 years) on an urgent basis who present with a significant level of risk of harm to self or others or have experienced an acute change in mental status, particularly related to psychosis. Assessments are conducted by psychologists and psychiatrists and provide diagnostic clarification, an evaluation of risk, and treatment recommendations. Psychiatrists are additionally able to provide medication review. There is limited capacity for follow-up.

  1. Current suicidal/homicidal ideation
  2. Recent suicide attempt/gesture (medically stable)
  3. Acute change in mental status, particularly as a result of psychosis
  4. Ability to engage in safety planning
  5. Lack of existing clinical support
  6. History of suicide attempts

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: All age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisor (Faculty lead): Dr. Anton Baksh
  • Location: CHEO main site 6th floor 6 West
  • Duration: 2-4 weeks
  • Number of students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd-year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates, Christmas holiday shutdown and 1 week in August

Elective: The Royal – YIPU/YPHU - Inpatient and outpatient

Objectives: Treatment Program for Adolescents who require the support of a multidisciplinary team to reintegrate to school and full functioning. Participation in group therapy available. The emphasis is on developing the student’s ability to diagnose, develop a biopsychosocial formulation, make comprehensive recommendations, and provide treatment for children and teens within their family context.

Description:

  • 8-bed unit for adolescents 16 to 18 years old.
  • Stabilization and Treatment (focus on “major” psychiatric disorders/first onset psychosis).
  • Outpatient psychiatry rotation offers the opportunity to work with adolescents with a wide range of problems  including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma and stress-related disorders, ADHD, behaviour disorders, autism spectrum, early psychosis, etc
  • Various modalities of treatment include psychopharmacology, CBT, DBT, family therapy, and groups. We use the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA). Residents learn to do Choice appointments in which patient and family needs and goals are identified and to work in partnership with the patient/family toward the goals.

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: 16 to 18 years age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisor (Faculty lead): Drs. Khalid Bazaid, Smita Thatte, Gail Beck, and Robert Milin (only in summer time)
  • Location: The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Main Campus
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Number of students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd-year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates Christmas holiday shutdown and 1 week in August

Elective: Pediatric - Eating Disorders

Objectives: To observe & participate inpatient EDP psychiatric assessments of EDP children and youth. To observe & participate inpatient therapy and care. To learn to perform a mental and physical status exam with confidence and to gain a basic understanding of EDP patients and it’s program

Description: A 6-bed unit (on 6 North), offers a supportive and therapeutic environment to help guide patient and family to make positive changes toward recovery. The team will help patient understand eating disorders, understand why they take the patients so seriously and to guide and care for them. You will work closely with the treatment team ( Physician, Psychiatrist, dietitian , Registered Nurses and CYC’s)

Benefits for students interested in taking this elective: All age range and variety of diagnoses

  • Supervisors: Drs. Clare Roscoe, Leanna Isserlin
  • Location: CHEO main site 6th floor 6 North office
  • Duration: 2-4 weeks
  • Number of Students: 1 per physician
  • Offered to (year of students): 3rd year students
  • Availability: All year round except Blackout dates, Christmas holiday shutdown, and 1 week in August

 

Forensic Psychiatry

Elective: Family Court Clinic

Objectives: To educate the student in regards to various legislation involving children, including the Children's Law Reform Act (CLRA), Child and Family Service Act (CFSA), and Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA); to educate and inform the student in regards to issues of child abuse, including neglect, incest, physical abuse, juvenile delinquency, etc.; to provide information in regards to sexual behaviours assessments and incest treatment; to teach the student how to do a proper legal report; and to teach the student issues involving court appearances and expert testimony.

Description:The student would observe court assessments involving children performed by the psychiatrist and other members of the multi-disciplinary team. These would primarily include custody and access cases (Children's Law Reform Act), child welfare assessments (Child and Family Service Act), and young offenders (Youth Criminal Justice Act).

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Gregory Motayne, Dr. Floyd Wood
  • Location: The Royal (Family Court Clinic)
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students


Elective: Forensic Psychiatry

Objectives: To introduce students to the problems of assessing and treating the mentally abnormal offender.

Description: The Forensic Program assesses and treats the mentally abnormal offender on both an in-patient and out-patient basis. All ranges of both offence and psychiatric illness are seen within this program on referral by all levels of court, judges, Crown Attorneys, defence counsel, Federal and Provincial probation, etc. Treatment is offered following assessment where appropriate and reports are prepared for courts and lawyers upon request. The student would be exposed to the assessment and treatment processes, including how to take a proper forensic history and, in addition, would be able to attend at court and detention centres with the supervising psychiatrist. A very basic session would be given in the preparation of reports.

  • Supervisor(s): Various
  • Location: Forensic Program, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • No. of Students: 1 student only (3rd year CORE students take priority)
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students

Elective: Forensic Psychiatry-Brockville

Objectives: To familiarize the medical students with Forensic Psychiatric Practice including assessment, acute care, rehabilitative treatment of individuals with severe mental disorders (including personality disorders) who have come in conflict with law. This elective can be tailored to the student's interest.

MCSCS security clearance is required for this elective.

Description: This elective is best suited for a student who is interested acquiring skills in the assessment and treatment of individuals with major mental disorders who have come in conflict with law. It will provide the student the opportunity to develop skills in the court ordered assessment (fitness, criminal responsibility, capacity, etc) and treatment of acute and chronic mental disorder (with or with co-morbid axis II psychopathology). Students will also be provided the opportunity to acquire basic skills in risk assessment (clinical and actuarial) and familiarization with the provincial and federal mental health legislation.

The student would be exposed to the assessment and treatment processes, including how to take a proper forensic history and, in addition, would be able to attend at court and detention centres with the supervising psychiatrist. A very basic session would be given in the preparation of reports. A student can also choose to participate in clinical research projects, as they are available. Areas of interest include risk assessment, dysfunctional anger, criminal responsibility and psychopathy, mental disorder and violent behaviour.

  • Supervisor(s): Drs. Anthony Adiele, Sanjiv Gulati, Colin Cameron, Jean-Marie Ribeyre and Jonathan Gray
  • Location: Brockville Mental Health Centre, Brockville, Ontario
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1 (a vehicle is an asset for this elective)
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students

 

Geriatric Psychiatry

​​​​​​Elective: Geriatric Psychiatry

Objectives: Under the close supervision, 1) To learn how to diagnose, investigate and manage common psychiatric disorders in the elderly, 2) To improve interview skills, 3) To work collaboratively with multidisciplinary team members.

Description: Under the supervision of the staff psychiatrist, the student will interview geriatric patients under his/her care and follow them throughout their rotation, participating actively in treatment decisions and completing necessary documentation (e.g. admission note, consultation note, follow up note, discharge note) in a timely manner. The student will be encouraged to liaise with patient's family/care givers when appropriate. The student will be asked to participate in a multidisciplinary team meeting and work collaboratively with other team members. Depending on availability, the student may have an opportunity to participate in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

  • Setting: One of combination of the following settings - Inpatient, Outpatient, Day hospital or Long-term care home depending on the availability
  • Supervisor(s): One or more of geriatric psychiatrists at ROMHC
  • Location: The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • Duration: 1-2 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 1st and 2nd year students
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