View the most up-to-date faculty list.
The Department of Psychiatry offers medical undergraduate and postgraduate residency as well as postgraduate training in Master’s, PhD and postdoctoral fellowship opportunities in neuroscience and applied psychiatry. We also offer an ongoing series of continuing professional education activities. Our research reflects the diversity of our faculty and includes clinical, basic biomedical\applied research in psychiatry and neuroscience.
A vibrant group of psychiatrists provide clinical services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. We have medical faculty throughout the city offering general adult, child and adolescent, forensic and geriatric services as well as many other subspecialized clinics. We are committed to pursuing high quality academic and clinical service provisions in the context of providing our patients and the people of Saskatchewan with excellent and compassionate care and a new generation of well-trained clinicians, educators and researchers. Thank you for visiting the website!
Dr. Marilyn Baetz, MD, FRCPC, CCPE
Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry
To safeguard and enhance the psychiatric well-being of patients, through dedicated practice of scholarly activities, research, teaching, and optimal clinical care.
Collegiality & Collaboration
The department of psychiatry is a unified organization with a membership that includes medical staff of the Saskatoon Health Authority as well as faculty based out of the University of Saskatchewan and surrounding community. Guided by leadership of a provincial head, members work collaboratively with dedication to excellence in clinical service, education, and research. With a mandate to support province-wide programming, the department nurtures partnerships in the field of mental health and addiction services, and strives to enhance academic activities and patient care through affiliated clinical programs.
Our annual report is released in the fall following the end of our reporting year which runs from June-July. For a more comprehensive view of the Department, beyond what's listed on our website, please review our 2017-2018 annual report.
- Academic and leadership positions
- Resident Journal Club topics
- Psychiatry Rounds presenters and topics
- Department awards and events
- Active research funding
- Presentations at scientific conferences
- Research publications
- Review & supervision activities
We provide Psychiatric training for Residents from other programs in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and elective opportunities for other specialty programs. The Family Medicine Resident clinical experience is highly regarded by the trainees and Department of Family Medicine.
Additionally, the Department also provides a broad spectrum of Continuing Professional Development curriculum from September to June. Please follow the section links under Education to learn more about our programs, and for additional contact information.
Dr. Vern Bennett
The General Objectives for the Undergraduate Medical Program are outlined in the following document.
The mistreatment, discrimination, and harassment policy is a key document to read and refer to for faculty and students to ensure a safe working and learning environment.
Psychiatry is a core program within the undergraduate medical curriculum. Pre-clerkship (years 1 and 2) includes multidisciplinary lectures and small group sessions which 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 as listed below.
Mental Health Foundations and Clinical Skills in the last half of year 2 provide the first formal opportunity for undergraduate medical students to learn about psychiatric illnesses and perform a psychiatric interview with real patients. These courses are a combination of didactic and small group teaching, which take place concurrently.
The clerkship syllabus is described here, with Psychiatry beginning on page 74.
Psychiatry is one of the core clerkship rotations. Psychiatry provides a 6 week core rotation for all Year 3 medical students. 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 Office:
Undergraduate Medical Education
Postgraduate Subspecialty Programs
Tel: (306) 844-1312
Fax: (306) 844-1504
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
Department of Psychiatry
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.
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, the latter under the leadership of Dr. David Porter. 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. Two resident-consultant pairs debate each other on mental health topics and the pair that sways the most audience votes wins. Another popular format is the Second Opinion series: a panel of experts address questions submitted by the audience, both ahead of time and on the spot. Collaboration is encouraged among disciplines and within the department. The rounds are available through Telehealth and WebEx to our other teaching site in Regina and remote sites in the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Members are encouraged to develop Personal Learning Projects around the topics of grand rounds, assisted by pre-rounds literature resources suggested by the presenters, for Royal College, Maintenance of Certification, Section 2 credits. This past year, we developed a workshop on the Clinical Assessment of Capacity, led by Drs. Baillod and Thorpe, that was accredited for Section 3 credits.
The annual Academic Day now takes place in the fall. The Planning Committee, made up of psychiatry clinicians and researchers, psychologists, and representatives from Mental Health Services, considers the input from target audience members and other perceived learning needs and determines the theme, content, and choice of speakers for the event.
Dr. Bienca Lau
Director of Continuing Medical Education
The Department of Psychiatry has a vibrant research portfolio continually growing through the efforts of our knowledgeable and dedicated clinical, applied and basic research faculty, students, residents and staff. Our mandate is to undertake fundamental and clinical studies to contribute to continuously evolving field of psychiatry and provide the exceptional training environment to the next generation of scientists and clinicians.
We conduct cross-disciplinary clinical, applied and basic research through biological and sociocultural lenses to improve prevention, develop and implement better therapeutic interventions, and enhance care in individuals living with mental illnesses. We collaborate with Indigenous Peoples’ Communities and with Patient Partners to conduct research for improvements in wellness and mental health. Researchers in the Department tackle mental illness across life span utilizing cutting-edge technologies, from psychiatric genetics to computational psychiatry and artificial intelligence.
Drs. Adams, Balbuena and Lodhi are currently seeking graduate students – please see the “Opportunities” tab for more info.
Addictions and Psychopharmacology – Dr. Rohit Lodhi brings us the Department’s newest research program, with a focus on three main areas: etiology of chemical and behavioral addictions as well as interventions that improve outcomes; new directions in psychopharmacology, including pharmacogenetics; and adverse health or treatment outcomes due to psychopharmacological medications or addictions.
Attachment Research Laboratory – Led by Dr. G. Camelia Adams.
Cell Signalling Laboratory – Director Dr. Darrell D. Mousseau is the Saskatchewan Chair in Alzheimer disease and Related Dementia. His major research objective is to determine what biochemical events are common to depression and Alzheimer disease (AD). He is also examining depression-related targets in models of diabetes (insulin resistance) and in breast cancer.
Computational Psychiatry Group – Led by Dr. Lloyd Balbuena, the group uses data from electronic medical records, national surveys, administrative records, smartphones, and patent and health worker perspectives to investigate a wide range of topics including suicide, mood instability, neuroticism, emotional dysregulation, health services utilization, and social determinants of mental health.
Child Psychiatry Clinical Studies is overseen by Dr. Declan Quinn, Dr. Melissa Denis, and other collaborators, both within and outside of the Department. Research is focused on multiple factors affecting youth and adolescents, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, ADHD, and more.
Educational Research is undertaken by Dr. Marla Davidson and Dr. Vern Bennett. Interest is in the pedagogy for tomorrow’s physicians. Dr. Davidson is an expert in developing innovative teaching strategies and in psychiatry resident training scholar curriculum implementation and evaluation.
First Peoples First Person Indigenous Hub – Dr. Caroline Tait oversees collaborative studies that play a central research, policy, and knowledge dissemination role in collaborating with Indigenous peoples of Canada for vast improvement in wellness, healing, mental health, and addictions supports and services.
Psycholegal and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Research Laboratory – Dr. Mansfield Mela is a Diagnostic Research Lead for Canada’s comprehensive national Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (CanFASD). His research program focuses on FASD and the overlap with mental disorder, often including a forensic lens.
Social and Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Group (SPERG) – SPERG’s focus is on social and psychological and epigenetic risk factors for mental illnesses and mental health including the prevention of mental disorders. The group is led by Dr. Carl D’Arcy, who is also the Academic Director for the Saskatchewan Research Data Centre (SKY-RDC).
Transformational Research Laboratory – Dr. Yanbo Zhang is the recipient of the prestigious Iver and Joyce Graham Small Indiana Professorship in Psychiatry. His research focuses on the efficacy of neurostimulation and cannabis on emotional and cognitive deficits in several neurological psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorders, schizophrenia, PTSD, and multiple sclerosis.
Dr. G C Adams
- Attachment Style and Awakening Cortisol in Clients with Major Depressive Disorder With or Without Comorbid Social Anxiety Disorder
- The relationship between attachment, treatment compliance, and treatment outcomes in patients with obstructive sleep apnea
- The Relationship Between Attachment, Recidivism and Treatment in Forensic Patients with Mental Illness
- The Impact of Adult Attachment on Treatment Utilization and Costs in Psychiatric Outpatients
- Effectiveness Early Psychosis Intervention Program and the Examination of Risk Factors Interfering with its Use
- Suicide Psychological Autopsy Network Saskatoon (SPANS): Phase One
- Self-Reported Impairment and Quality of Life Information from Children and Adolescents with Psychiatric Symptoms: The Utility of the WHODAS-Child in the Saskatoon Health Region
- Measuring Self-Reported Emotional Regulation in an Inpatient and Outpatient Psychiatric Population
- Child & Youth Psychiatry - Consent to Participate in a Research Database
- Perspectives from Mental Health Professionals about the Potential Expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) to Patients with Mental Illness as a Primary Reason for MAiD
- Health Care Professionals’ Perspectives on Medical Assistance in Dying
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 email@example.com.
Clinical consultation and continuing medical care is delivered through individual private clinics, the Royal University Hospital emergency department and inpatient units, other health authority 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.
The Department of Psychiatry offers clinical services that span the continuum of care from community to acute care and back, in close partnership with Mental Health & Addiction Services. We have taken, and continue to take, significant quality improvement initiative to improve patient quality and flow.
- Outpatient Psychiatry
- Inpatient Psychiatry (Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health at RUH)
- Rapid Access Clinic
- 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
- Student Health Clinic
- McKerracher Centre Day Program
- Rural Clinics – Biggar, Humboldt, Kindersley, Lanigan, LaRonge, Outlook, Rosetown, Rosthern,
- West Side Community Clinic
- Northern Medical Services
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.
Dr. Anna Felstrom
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Division Head
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 clincial practice, teaching of psychiatry residents, FMRs and medical students, and researching various aspects of Forensics.
The Division of Forensic Psychiatry offers a one-year PGY6 Forensic Psychiatry Training Program. The program is an accredited training program that follows the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada training requirements in Forensic Psychiatry.
- 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 (Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments)
- Comprehensive care and services for people with serious mental illness who are placed under the jurisdiction of the Saskatchewan Review Board because they have been found not criminally responsible for their offense, or they have been deemed unfit to stand trial, on the account of having a serious mental illness
- Partnership with community services including probation, National Parole Board, Crisis Management, and Mental Health and Addictions
Dr. Azaad Baziany
Forensic Division Head
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)
Undergraduate Medical Education
Phone: (306) 844-1312
Postgraduate Medical Education
Phone: (306) 844-1080