Resident Elective Experiences

Purpose: To promote the development of HIV Psychiatrists in Ontario, and to enhance mental health literacy for physicians in other specialties caring for patients with HIV.

The resident will be trained at a wide variety of clinical sites, where they will participate in the mental health care of the HIV patient, including essential collaborations with allied health care providers, community mental health workers, and primary care/ID physicians across community and hospital settings.

This program has been developed as a partnership between the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.

  • Flexible opportunities for longitudinal (1 day per week, yearly) or block elective time (2weeks – 3months) in diverse HIV Psychiatry clinical settings in Toronto
  • Diverse clinical sites:
    • Mount Sinai Hospital – Clinic for HIV-related Concerns
    • St Michael’s Hospital and community partners (Casey House)
    • University Health Network
  • Learning goals co-defined between learner and supervisor, with broad range of possible opportunities to develop key competencies (click here for competency-based learning objectives)
  • Eligibility: PGY2 resident or above enrolled in an Ontario Postgraduate training program, applicant must be eligible to apply for an away elective at University of Toronto (click here for more details)
  • For more information about opportunities, or on how to apply, contact Dr. Deanna Chaukos

Learning Opportunities:

Clinical opportunities with emphasis on gaining knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for:

  1. Psychiatric management of complexity: Develop an approach to assessment and longitudinal follow up for patients with HIV, mental illness and substance use disorder, including an understanding of risk/vulnerability and resilience factors as they relate to psychiatric and substance use disorders
  2. Cognitive testing and neuropsychiatric approach: Gain knowledge of the impact of HIV on the brain, including approach to cognitive screening, physical exam, and the role for neuro-imaging in diagnostics.
  3. Psychotherapy:  Gain knowledge of diverse evidence-based treatments for mental illness (CBT, IPT, MI) pertinent to treatment of depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, etc. in patients with HIV. Further develop insight into trauma-informed approaches to care.
  4. Psychopharmacology: Gain knowledge of psychopharmacologic strategies for treating mental illness in patients with HIV, emphasizing coherence with HAART, pharmacologic targeting of symptoms prevalent in this population (i.e., fatigue, apathy, pain).
  5. Collaborative care: Recognition that quality mental health care requires collaboration across hospital and community providers, for integrated and patient-centered care.

Upcoming sessions

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