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Subspecialty Training Requirements in Geriatric Psychiatry | © 2015 The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All rights reserved.

This HTML version of the national standard document was created for compliance to AODA standards. The official Royal College version is the PDF version which you may access by clicking on the PDF Print Version below. The PDF version will be used for all Royal College related business (credentialing, accreditation, assessment etc.) and therefore, if there are any discrepancies between the PDF version and this HTML version, the PDF is the accurate approved Royal College standard.

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Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Subspecialty Training Requirements in
Geriatric Psychiatry

2011

EDITORIAL REVISION 2015
VERSION 1.1

These training requirements apply to those who begin training on or after July 1st, 2010.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Royal College certification in Psychiatry or eligibility to write the Royal College certification examination in Psychiatry (see requirements for these qualifications). All candidates must be certified Psychiatry to be eligible to write the Royal College certification examination in Geriatric Psychiatry.

MINIMUM TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

Twenty-four (24) months of approved residency in Geriatric Psychiatry. This period must include:

  1. Eighteen (18) to twenty-one (21) months of clinical training

    The clinical component of the residency training is outlined in the Objectives of Training for Geriatric Psychiatry. The nature of geriatric mental health is such that many problems are slow to resolve and require longer therapeutic trials than with younger patients. An 18-month training duration is required to ensure adequate clinical experience across a range of geriatric mental health problems at the level of complexity required of a subspecialist. During this period, the trainee will develop the advanced integrative skills required to adequately identify, formulate, and address the potentially large number of clinical factors relevant to the most complex cases. Over the course of training, subspecialty residents will be expected to assume gradually increasing levels of responsibility as independent consultants. This clinical training period will be comprised of:

    1. At least twelve (12) months, or equivalent, devoted to clinical training in core Geriatric Psychiatry, with a minimum of two months (2) or equivalent in each of the following settings:
      1. Inpatient, which includes inpatient work on psychiatric units or consultation to other inpatient settings
      2. Ambulatory care, which includes outpatient clinics or day hospital settings
      3. Outreach visits at a patient’s place of residence, which must include a long-term care component
      4. Each of these components may be organized in a longitudinal fashion, and must allow the resident to provide both consultations and ongoing care. There must be supervision by a psychiatrist with appropriate Geriatric Psychiatry expertise and knowledge.

    2. At least three (3) months devoted to developing expertise with the medical problems commonly associated with psychiatric presentations in older adults. Rotations should be selected according to the individual resident’s career goals and prior experience. Examples include:
      1. Geriatric Medicine outpatient clinic, day hospital, or inpatient unit
      2. Neurology (movement disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease)
      3. Palliative care
      4. Neuroimaging
      5. Medical care in a long-term care home
    3. Up to three (3) months of clinical electives related to the practice of Geriatric Psychiatry. These rotations are intended to augment the learning obtained in the core clinical rotations to ensure all the educational objectives are met. Rotations must have a clear geriatric focus and will be individualized to the experience and goals of the resident with the approval of the program director. Suitable rotations may include:
      1. Addictions psychiatry
      2. Psychotherapy
      3. Community/shared care psychiatry
      4. Psychopharmacology
      5. Forensic Psychiatry
      6. Bioethics in psychiatry
      7. Consultation-liaison psychiatry
      8. Clinical psychiatric research
      9. Emergency or urgent care psychiatry
      10. Sleep disorders
  2. Three (3) to six (6) months of advanced training and/or scholarly activities in one or more of the areas outlined below. This training may be completed in distinct blocks or integrated horizontally over the course of subspecialty training. In addition to developing competency across the CanMEDS Roles sufficient to meet the objectives of training, each subspecialty trainee will be expected to develop skills in one of the following areas in greater depth, to at least advanced level competency, as defined in the Objectives of Training in Geriatric Psychiatry.
    1. Education: Educational skills are crucial to day-to-day work in Geriatric Psychiatry. Trainees will be encouraged to develop these skills with patients and caregivers, other mental health professionals, and community care providers, and in collaboration with agencies such as the Alzheimer Society of Canada. A substantial education component is required for effective collaboration with primary care physicians and general psychiatrists, which will be explicitly taught during subspecialty training. As expertise grows, the training Geriatric Psychiatrist will be involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in preparation for his/her future role as content expert in this area. Advanced level competency may include the development and evaluation of a new educational program, or formal graduate studies in health professional education.
    2. Research: Subspecialist Geriatric Psychiatrists will generally become resources to their colleagues on the interpretation and clinical impact of new research findings, and will therefore contribute to the propagation of best, evidence-based medical practice. A smaller group will choose to become key researchers in the field of geriatric psychiatry. While all trainees will gain expertise in the critical appraisal of the literature specific to Geriatric Psychiatry, those choosing to develop advanced level of competency in this area will undertake a research project, and the training program will be expected to assist the resident in acquiring the necessary skills.
    3. Service Development and Administration: Subspecialty trainees will be exposed to situations requiring the development of administrative skills. Over the course of training, residents will be offered increasing responsibility in this regard, and will be expected to integrate these functions along with other day-to-day activities as would occur in independent practice. Advanced level competency may include a critical evaluation and review of an existing model of service delivery, undertaking and documenting a new service development or capacity enhancement project, or graduate-level studies in health administration
    4. Other: Trainees may elect to develop advanced level competency in other areas such as advocacy or leadership, according to individual career goals, subject to approval by the program director.

NOTES:

  1. Up to twelve (12) months of the training requirements listed under sections 1 and 2 above, if completed during fulfillment of the primary certification requirements in a Royal College-approved program in Psychiatry, may be credited towards subspecialty training. Residents are strongly encouraged to consult with the program director of their prospective Geriatric Psychiatry subspecialty program to determine whether specific rotations would be eligible for consideration of credit toward subspecialty requirements.
  2. To be eligible, rotations must have been completed at the PGY4 level or higher.
  3. A minimum of six (6) months of dedicated Geriatric Psychiatry clinical training (described in 1.1.) must be completed in PGY6 or higher to ensure that subspecialty residents receive sufficient experience working and supervising others at a subspecialty level.
  4. The 6-month mandatory core experience in Geriatric Psychiatry completed during Psychiatry training would not be eligible for credit towards subspecialty training, as it is structured to develop foundational skills rather than subspecialty expertise.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION

Royal College certification in Geriatric Psychiatry requires all of the following:

  1. Certification in Psychiatry;
  2. Successful completion of a 2-year Royal College accredited program in Geriatric Psychiatry;
  3. Successful completion of an advanced training project and/or scholarly activity relevant to Geriatric Psychiatry, as attested by the program director; and
  4. Successful completion of the certification examination in Geriatric Psychiatry.

The 2-year program outlined above is to be regarded as the minimum training requirement. Additional training may be required by the program director to ensure that clinical competence has been achieved.

  • REVISED – 2011
  • REVISED – Specialty Committee – October 2014
  • EDITORIAL REVISION – Specialty Committee and Office of Specialty Education – January 2015

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This HTML version of the national standard document was created for compliance to AODA standards. The official Royal College version is the PDF version which you may access by clicking on the PDF Print Version below. The PDF version will be used for all Royal College related business (credentialing, accreditation, assessment etc.) and therefore, if there are any discrepancies between the PDF version and this HTML version, the PDF is the accurate approved Royal College standard.