Western University - Psychiatry - London

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on October 22, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Notice of intent to withdraw accreditation

Provincial Criteria

Dr. James Ross
London Health Sciences Centre - Victoria Hospital 
800 Commissioners Road E., Zone B, 8th Floor, B8-102
London, Ontario, N6A 5W9
Department of Psychiatry at Western University

Program Contacts

Dr. Vadim Beletsky
Program Director

Dr. James Ross
Associate Program Director

Suzena Mendes
Program Coordinator

Bela Franze
Program Coordinator

Important Information


Accredited with notice of intent to withdraw

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Western University offers Psychiatry residency positions at two separate sites:

London site - 6 training spots (3 CMG / 3 IMG)

Windsor site - 2 training spots (1 CMG / 1 IMG)

Organizationally, both sites are part of one program and CaRMS interviews for both sites will be conducted together.  However, there is a separate application for each site.  You may apply to one or both sites.

  • Royal College accredited program and subspecialty programs.
  • Interprovincial electives can be taken in the PGY-1, PGY-4 and PGY-5 years.
  • International electives can be taken in PGY-4 and PGY-5 years.
  • Ratio of residents to faculty is  favourable.
    • The size of the program allows individual attention and regular one-to-one contact between faculty and residents.
    • The number of residents also facilitates cohesiveness and camaraderie.
  • Flexibility is offered in the selection of rotations.
  • Residents in psychiatry at Western come from medical schools across the country and around the world adding richness and diversity to the resident body.
  • Residents take a very active and substantive role in the continuous quality improvement of the program. Residents meet with the program director monthly and feedback is continuously incorporated into change.
  • London is a medium-sized city that is small enough to be comfortable and affordable, but also large enough to have many big city amenities including excellent restaurants, live theatre, live music, and beautiful natural resources such as parks, conservation areas, and riverfront trails.
  • Information about tourism and upcoming events in London can be found at
  • Opportunities and living in London created by members of the department

Many residents choose to make London their home after training by joining the faculty or becoming a community consultant. Employment opportunities are plentiful in London and surrounding areas in both community and academic settings. Remuneration models are highly competitive with other regions in Ontario.

Supporting Documentation

Applicants are advised to only provide the documents requested by the program. No other documents submitted will be reviewed.
Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Document must be notarized/certified
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian citizenship:
• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)

Proof of current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by File Review Opening Date (January 31, 2022). (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized photocopy of Birth Certificate issued by an authority in Canada with any photo ID, or
  2. Notarized photocopy of Canadian Passport, or
  3. Notarized photocopy of Canadian citizenship certificate, Record of Landing; or
  4. Notarized photocopy of Permanent Resident Card/Canadian Citizen Card – copies of both sides of card must be provided and legible.
Reference documents
Number requested: 3
  • Three letters of reference are required.  Letters of reference are required from faculty/staff who have had direct supervision of you.
  • A letter from a resident will not be considered.
  • At least one letter from a physician testifying to the suitability of the candidate for psychiatry is required. Please give some thought before selecting a referee. A good choice would be a referee who has sufficient knowledge of you to enable them to:
    • Comment on your interest in psychiatry.
    • Comment on your clinical skills and ability to interact with patients and other members of the healthcare team.
    • Be able to compare your performance to the expected standard for your level of training or other students they have worked with. Generally, clerkship coordinators, psychiatry attendings, or other staff you have had close clinical contact with are good choices to serve as referees.
  • In general, we recommend no more than one letter come from an individual you have not had clinical contact with (research supervisor etc).
  • Reference letters must be dated no later than one year from time of receipt. Undated letters will not be accepted.
  • References and other supporting documents scanned by CaRMS after January 31, 2022 will not be considered.
  • We will not accept updates directly to our office.
Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

All applicants are asked to provide a personal letter as part of their application. This letter should provide reasons as to why the applicant has chosen psychiatry as a career and more particularly why the applicant has chosen the Western program for training. Applicants are also expected to provide a description of their past education and experience which they consider will help them in their training in psychiatry. No minimum/1000 word maximum.

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office

Custom Résumé / CV 

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022

We will NOT accept any documents sent directly to our office.  We will only consider references and supporting documents submitted to the CaRMS site.



  • February 28, 2022
  • March 7, 2022
  • March 11, 2022

Candidates selected for interviews will be contacted by email.  Candidates who are not offered interviews will not be contacted.

Interviews will be scheduled in order of receipt of confirmation email by the candidate.



Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.

**Please note that in view of COVID-related limitations the format of the interviews for the 2022 match will be virtual**

For more information regarding the Residency Training Program in Psychiatry at Western applicants are encouraged to visit our website:


Selection Criteria

Our program is looking for candidates who have excellent interpersonal skills, good clinical judgment, high ethical and professional standards, and a genuine interest in psychiatry. Selection is based on the dossier you submit, as well as the interviews on CaRMS day. The interview segment is mandatory. The most significant factors that influence the ranking of candidates are: the strength of the academic record as measured by the Medical Student Performance Record and medical school transcript, letters of reference, and the interview.  

**Please note that for 2022 match year, presence of the specialty-specific electives will not be relevant**

Program goals

The Department of Psychiatry at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is committed to providing residents with a comprehensive training program. Our aim is to have our trainees not only increase their knowledge throughout educational experiences but also prepare them for lifelong learning.  Our mission is to produce outstanding psychiatrists to serve the community, and contribute to academic endeavours.  To this end, our goal is to attract and train individuals who have excellent interpersonal skills, good clinical judgment, high ethical and professional standards, and a genuine interest in psychiatry.

Selection process goals

The Department of Psychiatry at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is committed to providing residents with a comprehensive training program. Our aim is to have our trainees not only increase their knowledge throughout educational experiences but also prepare them for lifelong learning.  Our mission is to produce outstanding psychiatrists to serve the community, contribute to academic endeavours, and to better the field of psychiatry.  To this end, our goal is to attract and train individuals who have excellent interpersonal skills, good clinical judgment, high ethical and professional standards, and a genuine interest in psychiatry.

File review process

Review team composition : The CaRMS committee consists of members of the Residency Program Committee, other psychiatry faculty, and resident representatives.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 401 - 600

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 0 - 25 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Extracurricular activities, evidence of leadership, research productivity
Electives Elective experience will not be taken into account for the 2022 match year.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component
Extra-curricular Evidence of interest in a variety of activities demonstrating balance and well-roundedness
Leadership skills Evidence of leadership potential
MSPRs Evidence of lapses in professionalism
Personal letters Evidence of a genuine interest and understanding of psychiatry
Reference documents Evidence of superior performance in clinical activities
Research/Publications Evidence of interest and productivity in research activities
Transcripts Evidence of superior academic performance

Elective criteria

Elective experience will not be taken into account for the 2022 match year.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Evidence of collaborative skills
Collegiality Evidence of collegiality
Communication skills Evidence of good communication skills
Health advocacy Evidence of good health advocacy
Interest in the discipline Evidence of genuine interest in psychiatry
Interest in the program Evidence of genuine interest in the training program at Western
Leadership skills Evidence of leadership potential
Professionalism Evidence of professional behaviour
Scholarly activities Evidence of research productivity

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

Specifically, we may consider:

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

Program Highlights

  • Royal College accredited program.

  • One block of orientation prior to the onset of service.  This block is unique to our program.
  • Favourable faculty to resident ratio, allowing for 1:1 supervision for residents.

  • Excellent research supervisors and facilities including Lawson Health Research Institute and the Brain and Mind Institute.  Western is a world leader in Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

  • Resident Research Track
  • ECT  / rTMS program that gives all residents a graded exposure throughout their training.
  • Royal College subspecialty training opportunities in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry.  The PGY-5 year can be used as the first year of subspecialty training.

  • International electives available for senior residents.

  • No mandatory rural rotations although rural rotations are fully supported and encouraged through the Distributed Education Network (DEN) and the Ontario Psychiatric Postgraduate Education Network (OPPEN).

  • National leader in resident preparation for Royal College OSCE exams.  London is the site of the P. Chandarana London Psychiatry Review Course.

  • Graded call experience: a senior resident is always on call with junior residents for added teaching and support.  Call is always with a minimum of three residents.

  • Residents on call usually are exposed to Child and Adolescent cases throughout their training.
  • Residents take on a very active role in the continuous quality improvement of the program with resident representation on most departmental committees.

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


All of the hospitals in London are affiliated with Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and excel in research, education, and patient care.  London Health Sciences Centre is one of Canada’s largest acute care teaching hospitals and includes Adult, Child and Adolescent, Geriatric, and Emergency Psychiatry Services.

St. Joseph’s Health Care is a recognized leader in the delivery of compassionate care and renowned research.  The mental health division of St Joseph’s Health Care operates Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building in London which offers specialized programs in Adolescents, Dual Diagnosis, Mood and Anxiety, Psychosis, and Concurrent Disorders, and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health in St. Thomas.

Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) offers services with an emphasis on children with developmental delays, neurological and medical problems, including assessment, consultation, treatment, research, and education.

Lawson Health Research Institute is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, London. As one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada, Lawson is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.  Within the Institute, a 'bench to bedside' approach to medical research is encouraged. Meaning that researchers focus their efforts on the development of new knowledge that can be applied directly to patient care within the hospitals.


The educational needs of psychiatry trainees are preeminent at Western. The training program meets all Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) certification requirements. The program comprises five years of postgraduate training.


All programs at Western commence on  July 1st, with a one-day orientation to be held on campus prior to start date.

The PGY-1 curriculum is designed to provide a superb introduction to the Department of Psychiatry and the areas of medicine relevant to a career in psychiatry.

The rotations are selected to facilitate success also on the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II.

The Psychiatry residency training program at Western has a very innovative block long orientation program offered during July that is unique across the entire country. It provides new residents with an extended period of time to grow accustomed to the city, as well as time to tour the many community agencies partnered with the hospital.

YEARS 2 to 5

The PGY-2 to PGY-5 curriculum has been devised to fulfill current Royal College requirements.

  • PGY-2: General Adult Psychiatry rotations (inpatient and outpatient)
  • PGY-3: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry rotations
  • PGY-4 and PGY-5: required rotations in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Shared Care, and Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

The PGY-4 and PGY-5 years also include time for selective and electives rotations.

Throughout the PGY-2 to PGY-5 years, there are longitudinal learning experiences in Psychotherapy (CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic, Family, Supportive), Addictions, and Research.


Rotation selection is determined primarily by the particular interests and career goals of the individual residents and enables residents to undertake the broadest possible experience before making final career decisions.

Electives are available in collaborative (shared) mental health care services, forensic assessments at jails or detention centres, community clinic consultations in and outside of London, research projects, psychotherapy, psychogeriatrics, psychoses, mood and anxiety disorders, neuropsychiatry, rural psychiatry, consultation-liaison, eating disorders, concurrent disorders, emergency psychiatry, and a growing number of other options.


Training is conducted throughout the years of residency and includes formal seminars, individual and group supervision, interviewing skills seminars, and psychotherapy workshops.

Skilled supervision in many modalities is available, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, group, family, child, and dialectical behavioural therapy.   

Protected time is provided throughout the PGY-2 to PGY-5 years in order to complete practical psychotherapy training hours.


The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is very active with a wide range of experiences available in a variety of settings including inpatient, day treatment, outpatient and telepsychiatry programs. 

Residents would have the opportunity to work in hospitals, children's mental health agencies, schools and other community agencies. Opportunities are also available in centres outside of London. Training is available in a variety of therapies including family, group, individual, play, behaviour management, cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, dialectical behavioural, and psychopharmacology.

Many research opportunities are available in areas such as pervasive developmental disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, psychotropic medications, and psychotherapeutic interventions.

Formal subspecialty training is available for those residents interested in pursuing a career in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Michelle Ngo

Child and Adolescent Subspecialty Program Director


The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry is multi-disciplinary and has links with family medicine, geriatric medicine/physical rehabilitation, and neurology. There is a regional geriatric psychiatry program, a geriatric community outreach program, an active geriatric consultation-liaison service, and significant opportunities for research.

Formal subspecialty training is available for those residents interested in pursuing a career in Geriatric Psychiatry

Dr. Lisa Van Bussel

Geriatric Subspecialty Program Director


Forensic psychiatry training is a unique and fascinating specialty area of psychiatry that is devoted to caring for people with mental health disorders who also have legal issues.

Our work is exceptionally broad in scope and consequently offers the opportunity to tailor your training or career to meet your goals.  Examples of some of our colleagues include: legal counsel, mental health courts, correctional centres, The Ontario Review Board, The Consent and Capacity Board, Faculty of Law, Western University, and other academic and health care institutions. 

Forensics sub-specialty training is in the development stage at this time.

Dr Naghmeh Mokhber

Medical Director, Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care

Naghmeh Mokhber | London Health Sciences Centre









Residents are participating in research as part of their training, consistent with the Royal College training recommendations.

Training in research methodology is provided as part of the teaching modules in the program as well as monthly research groups to provide guidance and exposure to work done within the department.

The Department has active research programs in a number of areas. The study of psychotic disorders is a major research focus, known nationally and internationally for its work in early intervention for psychosis, brain imaging, stress and psychosis, as well as other clinical aspects of assessing, predicting and improving treatment for psychotic disorders. In addition, our department has active research programs related to mood and anxiety disorders, stress-related disorders, and child-adolescent psychiatry. Clinical trials of psychotropic drugs are also undertaken within the Department.

Dr. Kamini Vasudev

Research Coordinator


Thursdays are devoted for educational purposes and residents are excused from clinical duties for scheduled educational activities. Educational time is either a half day or full day depending on year of training.

Didactic teaching of core material is an important part of our training experience and has been integrated into the residents’ clinical schedule.

During the PGY-2 to PGY-4 years, core modules are taught, covering the topics of adult, child and adolescent, psychotherapy, and geriatric psychiatry.  The modules also include essential topics in forensic, social, administrative psychiatry, epidemiology, and research methodology.

Interviewing skills are emphasized throughout the four years of psychiatry specific training.  Interviewing sessions are geared towards preparation for the Standardized Assessment of a Clinical Encounter (STACER) examinations.  Successful completion of the STACER examination is required for Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certification.

Evaluation using the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) method is part of the spring Royal College examinations. OSCE skills are also emphasized throughout the four years of psychiatry specific training at Western with monthly sessions utilizing what is probably the most extensive and formalized OSCE resource of any psychiatry residency training program in Canada.

Monthly resident facilitated evidence-based practice sessions are tutored by an expert in the field and Critically Appraised Topics (CATs) are prepared by the resident facilitator for each session which is then converted for web-based use by all psychiatry trainees at Western.

Western psychiatry residents have a very high success rate at Royal College examinations.


Call is taken with the Centralized Emergency Psychiatry Services (CEPS) located at Victoria Hospital.  

Western has instituted a graded on-call system so that the frequency of call decreases with advancement in the program. Currently, and in live with PARO guidelines, the frequency of call for PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents is approximately 1 in 7 days while PGY-4 and PGY-5 residents do approximately 1-2 days of call per month.

On weekdays call begins at 4:30 PM and finishes at 8:30 AM the next day and is in-house call until midnight. On weekends call begins at 9:00 AM and is considered home-call if the workload permits. 

Two or three residents (including at least one senior resident) are on call each day together often with two senior medical students.  Mental health nursing coverage in the emergency department has been available 24 hours per day to assist residents on call. The consultant on-call provides back up for residents throughout the call period.  

Following every on call experience, handover rounds precedes residents being excused from returning to clinical or academic duties for the remainder of the post on call day.

Training Sites


All of the hospitals in London are affiliated with Western's Schulich School of Medicine and excel in research, education, and patient care. Areas of specialization include (among many others): neuropsychiatry, imaging, molecular biology, developmental biology, clinical pharmacology, and clinical determinants and outcomes. Multicentre, multidisciplinary research in schizophrenia is a major focus for the Department of Psychiatry at Western.


London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) operates a total of 1,063 beds at three campus sites and offers a full range of medical services. Psychiatric services are delivered at each campus as follows:

  •  Victoria Hospital (LHSC-VH) is the primary training site for psychiatry.  This hospital contains 110 acute adult inpatient beds.  The outpatient program includes a busy urgent consultation ambulatory clinic, the Prevention and Early Psychoses Program (PEPP), the Trauma program, and other ambulatory resources.  It also contains Child and Adolescent outpatient services, and the Geriatric Psychiatry outreach program.  This is also where our Centralized Emergency Psychiatric Service (CEPS) is located which operates in conjunction with the region's busiest emergency department. This is the site where residents are on call during their psychiatry rotations.
  • University Hospital (LHSC-UH) operates a Consultation-Liaison (C-L) service and the Neuropsychiatry program with strong links to the Department Of Clinical Neurological Sciences.
  • Children's Hospital is a regional tertiary care centre located at the Victoria Hospital (VH) site. The Child and Adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit at this site operates 16 beds. These include general child and adolescent beds and eating disorders beds.

Additional Teaching Hospitals

St. Joseph's Health Care (SJHC) operates a total of approximately 1,608 beds and specializes in family and general medicine, surgery, obstetrics, neonatology, and rehabilitation. Facilities include Mount Hope and Parkwood Hospital which are chronic care and rehabilitative facilities. The Department of Psychiatry provides C-L services to these facilities. The mental health division of SJHC operates:

  • Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care:  provides outpatient care to patients from a five-county catchment area. This site will offer training in Psychosis, Geriatrics, Dual Diagnosis Disorders, Complex Mood Disorders, Concurrent Disorders, and Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care: provides both inpatient and outpatient programs. The programs mission is to enable persons with mental health disorder who have been in conflict with the law.

Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) is a facility for persons up to 16 years of age. The emphasis is on children with developmental delays and neurological and medical problems.


Additional Information

The size of the Western University Psychiatry Residency Program allows for individual attention and regular one on one contact between residents and faculty - and yet, it is large enough to offer exposure to a wide variety of subspecialties and world class research opportunities.

The number of residents also facilitates cohesiveness.  Residents in psychiatry at Western come from medical schools across the country and around the world adding richness and diversity to the group. 

The training program offers a broad and exceptional range of learning opportunities including outstanding preparation for the Royal College exams and subspecialty opportunities.

All information contained is subject to change until such time as the rank order lists are filed.

Please ensure you review information on a regular basis.

Summary of changes

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