The General Objectives for the Undergraduate Medical Program are outlined in the following document and a Learning Charter outlines key commitments of students, instructors and the institution for providing an effective learning environment.
The Student Mistreatment Policy is a key document to read and refer to for faculty and students to ensure a safe and harassment free environment.
Psychiatry is a core program within the undergraduate medical curriculum. Phase A & B include multidisciplinary lectures and small group sessions which may include members of the Department of Psychiatry as part of the learning experience.
There are also opportunities for students in this part of their training to “shadow” clinicians in their offices or in the hospital. For information on how to organize “shadowing” contact the Psychiatry Undergraduate Office.
The Phase C syllabus can be downloaded from can be downloaded from here. Phase C provides the first formal opportunity for undergraduate medical students to learn about psychiatric illnesses and perform a psychiatric interview. This course is a combination of didactic and small group teaching which is an engaging and highly rated class.
Phase DThe JURSI syllabus is described here.
The Junior Undergraduate Rotating Student Internship (JURSI) program is the Clinical Clerkship of Undergraduate Medical Education. Psychiatry provides a 6 week core rotation for all medical students in their third or fourth medical years. In addition we also provide electives for all students interested in furthering their experience in Psychiatry. The clinical clerkship is situation at three sites, which include Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.
The goal is to provide a varied and exciting experience in Psychiatry. We are fortunate enough to have one of the most varied programs in the country with opportunities that include: adult psychiatry, child psychiatry, consultation liaison psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, inpatient/outpatient care and emergency psychiatric services. In addition to the clinical exposure and training, there are seminars and tutorials from many of our dedicated consultants and psychiatry residents. This experience often includes one-to-one clinical teaching by faculty and residents. Evaluations occur through One-45 and include a mid-term and final evaluation.
For more information on our clerkship or setting up an elective, please contact our Undergraduate Medical Education Assistant.
The Residency training program at the University of Saskatchewan is a Royal College of Physician and Surgeons accreditated five year program designed to prepare trainees to practice general adult psychiatry or one of the subspecialties. Our strengths include dedicated and engaged teaching faculty, cohesive resident cohort that actively participate in program development and review, and a diversified, distributed learning experience.
Subspecialty Residency Training Programs
Dr. Marla Davidson
Residency Program Director
Royal University Hospital
Rm 184, Ellis Hall, Saskatoon SK S7N 0W8
Tel: (306) 844-1078
Fax: (306) 844-1504
Ms Joanie Bagalay
Residency Program & Child and Adolescent Subspecialty Program Administrator
Tel: (306) 844-1080
Welcome to our Master’s and Ph.D. graduate programs administered through the Health Sciences program centrally in the College of Medicine. We have expertise in clinical psychiatry, Applied Research, Biological Psychiatry and Aboriginal mental health.
The graduate program in Applied Research focuses on the psychosocial determinants for emotional and physical wellbeing, and for mental health issues as well as the distribution and the effectiveness of treatment of these mental health issues.
The graduate program in Biological Psychiatry focuses more on determining the biological basis for brain dysfunction in selected mental health issues, particularly depression. Most of these studies are based on animal and cell models, and are designed to investigate the effect of pharmaceutical treatment(s) on cell function and/or the animal’s behaviour.
Research in Aboriginal Mental Health occur under the direction of a medical anthropologist.
While many of the studies in both the Applied Research and the Biological Psychiatry programs are undertaken by graduate students and technicians, more independent studies are taken on by post-doctoral researchers training for a career path in Academia or Industry. Interest in a concurrent M.D/M.Sc. (or Ph.D.) program can also be accommodated within the College of Medicine’s M.D. curriculum.
Message from the Continuing Professional Development Director
We have a vibrant array of continuing educational activities in the Department of Psychiatry. Each month we have two Departmental Grand rounds and one Journal Club. We strive for balance and scope in the choice of topics and presenters. In addition to the traditional format, some grand rounds are part of the Debate series, modelled after the Maudsley Debates and recently championed by colleagues at Dalhousie. Collaboration is encouraged among disciplines and within the department. The rounds are teleconferenced to our other teaching site in Regina and remote sites in the Saskatoon Health Region. Members are encouraged to develop Personal Learning Projects around the topics of grand rounds, assisted by pre-rounds literature resources suggested by the presenters.
Research activities are featured at the Annual Research Day, which generally takes place in the fall. A themed Academic Day takes place in the spring. We also access special academic trust funds to sponsor external speakers to enrich the academic experience for trainees and faculty.
Members of the department of Child Psychiatry, who remain regular contributors of the grand rounds, will commence an additional and complimentary series of rounds and journal club.
Dr. Bienca Lau, MD, FRCPC
A dedicated cohort of community and university based faculty provide a wide array of inpatient, outpatient and outreach psychiatric services to the people of Saskatoon, its surrounding areas and neighbouring health regions.
Clinical consultation and continuing medical care is delivered through individual private clinics, the Royal University Hospital emergency department and inpatient units, other health region facilities, rural clinics, and in specialized programs developed and delivered collaboratively with Mental Health and Addiction Services.
These specialized services reflect the breadth of our physicians’ interests and expertise, as well as the needs of our expanding population. Through this partnership with MHAS psychiatrists participate not only in Mental Health and Addiction Services program development, review and patient/family centred service delivery but also in activities committed to continuous quality improvement.
Requests for psychiatric services are typically initiated by family physicians and other medical specialists and in some instances by other mental health professionals within the specialized programs.
- Outpatient Psychiatry
- Inpatient Psychiatry (Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health at RUH)
- Specialized Services
- Addiction Services (MHAS outpatients & Calder Centre)
- Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program
- Clozapine Clinic
- Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (RUH, SCH, SPH)
- Early Psychosis Intervention Program
- Maternal Mental Health Program
- McKerracher Centre Day Program
- Rural Clinics – Biggar, Humboldt, Kindersley, Lanigan, LaRonge, Outlook, Rosetown, Rosthern,
- West Side Community Clinic
We are a group of child and adolescent psychiatrists working within the Saskatoon Health Region. We provide psychiatric assessment to children, adolescents and their families. We are involved in teaching to medical students, trainees in psychiatry, paediatrics, and family medicine, and other health care professionals. We are also actively engaged in research of mental health involving children and adolescents.
- Psychiatric Assessment, Evaluation and Treatment to Children, Adolescents and their families
- An inpatient service with a 10-bed in-patient unit
- 24-hour Psychiatric Emergency Consultation and Assessment Service
- Consultation Liaison to Pediatrics
- Forensic Assessments
- Consultation services to residential treatment programs and group homes
- Work with Community Mental Health and Addictions Services
- Consultation services to Social Services on a case by case basis
We do not provide Psychological Assessment, Educational Assessments, & Custody and Access Assessments.
Information for Parents
- The Referral: We understand that your child or adolescent has been referred for psychiatric assessment.
- Contact with Referral Source: When you go to your family physician for referral you will be asked to complete a family form called the family database and in addition a specific rating scale called the Who-Das. These are necessary for our assessment. It helps us to be better prepared for the assessment.
- School Information: In some cases, it is important to have information from the school. These forms will be given to you by your family physician, or sent from our office if they are required. Included with these forms will be a consent form to allow the school send information to us. This information is very helpful and important in helping us better assess your child.
- The Assessment: We understand that you may have worries, concerns and some apprehension about the assessment. The assessment will be completed by a trained child and adolescent psychiatrist with a team of residents working with us as well as senior medical students. Residents are specific postgraduate medical physicians training in family medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry and child psychiatry. On occasions there will be other individuals in the assessment. These individuals may be from other disciplines such as social work, psychology, healthcare and other disciplines and backgrounds. Everyone will follow all the standard confidentiality protocols.
- Confidentiality is very important for everyone concerned. Most importantly it is very necessary to reinforce that any information obtained will be protected in the most confidential manner to safeguard your child. Everyone working on the team follows the standard confidential privacy information act by the Saskatchewan Government called the HIPA (Health Information Privacy Act).
Access to information regarding the assessment:
- Consent Forms: When you come for the assessment you will be asked to complete a release of information form. This will determine who we would have permission to exchange information with such as your family physician and/or any other individuals such as schools. Most of the time it would be to have permission to collect information. Occasionally it may be to make specific recommendations about treatment. No information will be sent without your permission.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: we also ask you to respect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals that you might meet in the waiting room. Just as they are expected to respect your confidentiality and privacy the same is expected of you.
The Division of Forensic Psychiatry was established in February 2009 to organize the activities of substantial number of psychiatrists in the province who are involved in Forensic practice.
- Teaching psychiatry residents, FMRs and medical students
- Researching various aspects of Forensics
- Providing care to inpatients at the Regional Psychiatric Center in Saskatoon; the Forensic unit of the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford
- Providing care to patients at the Forensic outpatient clinic at Royal University Hospital and incarcerated patients at both Saskatoon Correctional Center and the Regina provisional correctional Center
- Court-ordered psychiatric assessments
- Partnership with community services including probation, National Parole Board, Crisis Management, and Mental Health and Addictions
- Planning to submit an application for accreditation of a PGY6 residency program in Forensic Psychiatry at the University Saskatchewan.
We are a group of three geriatric psychiatrists working at various locations throughout the city of Saskatoon. As part of the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine and the Saskatoon Health Region, we provide psychiatric services to seniors with mental health problems, prioritizing those with multiple frailties including cognitive impairment. Especially for those with multiple medical comorbidities, we are increasingly working on a shared care model, in which the primary care physician retains the most responsible physician role, and we provide support and consultation. This model is not only necessary because of the shortage of dedicated geriatric psychiatrists, but is also best for the more frail patients, for whom psychiatric symptoms frequently reflect underlying medical disease.
We are involved in teaching to medical students, trainees in psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and family medicine, as well as other health care professionals, especially those providing care in nursing homes. We are also actively engaged in research of mental health involving older adults.
- Outpatient Geriatric psychiatry (RUH, SCH and private office)
- Inpatient Psychiatry (Dr. Prasad: Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health at RUH)
- Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
- RUH (Dr. Prasad)
- SCH (Dr. Thorpe)
- SPH (Dr. L. Wanson)
- Long-term care ( Drs. Davidson, Prasad and Thorpe)
The Department of Psychiatry has a thriving research program that is continuously growing through the efforts of our dedicated clinical, applied and basic research faculty, students, residents and staff. Our mandate is to undertake fundamental studies and research, apply knowledge and expertise, and contribute to the training and research goals of the next generation of scientist and clinicians.
The Department is home to prominent researchers and innovative research programs, including:
Saskatchewan Chair in Alzheimer disease and Related Dementia – Dr. Darrell D. Mousseau, lead of the Cell Signalling Lab with focus on research in neurodegeneration and aging.
Iver and Joyce Graham Small Indiana Professorship in Psychiatry – Dr. Yanbo Zhang, lead of the Transformational Research Lab with focus on efficacy of low field magnetic stimulation on treatment resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Approach – Dr. Gina Adams and Dr. Mansfield Mela
First Peoples First Person Indigenous Hub (Canadian Depression Research and Innovation Network, CDRIN) – Dr. Caroline Tait
Psycholegal and FASD Research Laboratory – Dr. Mansfield Mela
We conduct biomedical; clinical; health services; and/or social, cultural, environmental and population health research in the following areas:
Depression, Mood Instability and Anxiety (Children and Adults)
- Understanding complexity of mood disorders and the impact of medication and other treatments, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- Impact of drug interactions with focus on co-morbidities (e.g. depression and dementia)
- Biochemical events common to depression and Alzheimer disease
- Evaluation of pharmacological treatments including, Ketamine and mood stabilizers
- Impact of spirituality and religious involvement
Mental Health and Addictions in Indigenous Population
- Community-centered approaches to mental health and addictions programming
- Alternative and traditional healing models
- Community mental health services and transition of care
Attachment Styles and Relatedness
- Mental health service utilization
- Interpersonal group therapy outcomes
- Risks of reconviction of mentally disordered offenders
Maternal Mental Health (including Indigenous women)
- Maternal mental health in Saskatchewan
- Prenatal and post-partum depression
Risk Factors, Prevention and Early Intervention of Suicide
- Use of databases and large data to identify risks for suicide, allowing to establish preventive initiatives
- Screening for personality traits, identifying actionable targets to improve mental health
Forensic Psychiatry/ Mentally Disordered Offenders
- Clinical pathways in mental health and addictions services: system use and recidivism
- Role of forgiveness in treatment programs/ interventions for successful re-integration into the community
- Trauma intervention in Indigenous population
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (FASD) and ADHD in mentally disordered offenders
Epidemiology/ Population Health Related to Mental Illness in Saskatchewan
- Pervasiveness/ distribution of common mental disorders, e.g. neurodegenerative diseases; mood disorders (depression, anxiety); addiction
Pedagogy of Psychiatry for Tomorrow’s Physicians
- Observational multisource resident feedback implementation
- Psychiatry resident training scholar curriculum implementation and evaluation
The Department of Psychiatry partners with the Saskatoon Health Region’s Mental Health and Addictions Services.
Ongoing research projects in Mental Health and Addictions include:
Connecting to Care
- Providing appropriate support for frequent users of mental health emergency services
Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT)
- Expansion of existing therapeutic supports to rural and remote regions of the province
Level of Care Utilization System (LOCUS)
- Development of methods to determine levels of service needs
Patient Client Outcomes (PCOMs)
- Evaluation of patient/client experience after connection with therapist
Police and Crisis Team
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of a mental health worker and police team
Suicide Psychological Autopsy Network - Saskatoon
- Linking coroner and Saskatoon health region data to trace the clinical antecedents of suicide, including emergency room visits, inpatient admissions, and community mental health services
The Department is looking for talented researchers to join our team.
If you are a researcher or clinician interested in collaborating with one of our faculty in the Department, please contact them directly. Their contact information is available through our faculty list.
To view opportunities available for post-doctoral fellowships, please visit our university job posting site.
To apply for an opportunity, please follow the application process outlined in the posting. Additional information can be found through the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
MSc and PhD degrees with focus in Psychiatry are available through the Health Sciences graduate program offered by the College of Medicine.
Prospective students are encouraged to view potential opportunities on the university job posting site and apply to the Health Sciences graduate program as per program admission guidelines.
Additional information can be found on the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (link above).
Undergraduate students (medical and other disciplines)
Active researchers in the Department accept a limited number of medical undergraduate students through the Dean’s Summer Research Projects program.
Students enrolled in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Physiology, and Pharmacology undergraduate programs are eligible to partake in research training through the Biomedical Summer Research Projects.
Positions as research assistants or coordinators are available periodically and posted on the university job posting site (link above). Please check frequently for the most recent opportunities and application guidelines.
For other research related opportunities within the Department of Psychiatry, please contact the research facilitator, Izabela Szelest, PhD at Izabela.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Psychiatry
Room 119 Ellis Hall
Royal University Hospital
Phone: (306) 844-1310
Fax: (306) 844-1533