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Sophiya Benjamin


Dr. Sophiya Benjamin is Assistant Clinical Professor (GPT) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences McMaster University. She is the Postgraduate Research lead in Psychiatry at the Waterloo Regional Campus and has had a longstanding interested in medical education. This has been recognized nationally by the Ginsberg Fellowship for excellence in teaching, and locally by the Excellence in Teaching awards from undergraduate (2015) and postgraduate (2018) programs at McMaster University. She cofounded GeriMedRisk, the clinician led provincial program launched in Waterloo-Wellington in 2017. GeriMedRisk’s goal is to provide equitable access to geriatric specialist expertise for providers across the province to optimize care for older patients with multiple medications, complex medical and mental health diagnoses. She is pursuing a Masters in Health Sciences at the Duke-NIH clinical research training program.  She is a psychiatrist serving seniors with dementia at the Specialized Mental Health Program at the Freeport site of Grand River Hospital. Her other clinical roles include being a geriatric psychiatry consultant for GeriMedRisk and providing specialist support for primary care memory clinics. 

Featured Publications

Ho,J; Tung, J; Maitland, J; Mangin, D; Thabane, L; Pavlin, J.M; Alfonsi, J; Holbrook, A; Straus, S; Benjamin, S . GeriMedRisk, a Telemedicine Geriatric Pharmacology Consultation Service to Address Adverse Drug Events in Long-Term Care: A Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Feasibility Trial Protocol (ISRCTN17219647) Pilot and Feasibility Studies20184:116

Cheung, E. N. M., Benjamin, S., Heckman, G., Ho, J. M.-W., Lee, L., Sinha, S. K., & Costa, A. P. (2018). Clinical characteristics associated with the onset of delirium among long-term nursing home residents. BMC Geriatrics18, 39.

Thrall, G. C., Coverdale, J. H., Benjamin, S.,Wiggins, A., Lane, C. J., & Pato, M. T. (2016). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Team-Based Learning Versus Lectures with Break-Out Groups on Knowledge Retention. Acad Psychiatry,40(5), 755-760. doi:10.1007/s40596-016-0501-7

Herr, N. R., Williams, J. W., Jr., Benjamin, S., & McDuffie, J. (2014). Does this patient have generalized anxiety or panic disorder?: The Rational Clinical Examination systematic review. Jama,312(1), 78-84. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5950 Abstracted in ACP journal club 

Taylor, W. D., Benjamin, S.,McQuoid,  R., Payne, M. , Krishnan, R. R., MacFall, J. R., & Ashley-Koch, A. (2012). AGTR1 gene variation: association with depression and frontotemporal morphology. Psychiatry Res, 202(2), 104-109. 

Benjamin, S.,Herr, N. R., McDuffie, J., Nagi, A., & Williams, J. W., Jr. (2011). VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program Reports. In Performance Characteristics of Self-Report Instruments for Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorders in Primary Care: A Systematic Review. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US).

Plassman, B. L., Williams, J. W., Jr., Burke, J. R., Holsinger, T., & Benjamin, S.(2010). Systematic review: factors associated with risk for and possible prevention of cognitive decline in later life. Ann Intern Med, 153(3), 182-193. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-3-201008030-00258 Abstracted in ACP Journal Club 

Benjamin, S.,& Steffens, D. C. (2011). Structural neuroimaging of geriatric depression. Psychiatr Clin North Am, 34(2), 423-435, ix. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2011.02.001

Benjamin, S.,& Doraiswamy, P. M. (2011). Review of the use of mirtazapine in the treatment of depression. Expert Opin Pharmacother, 12(10), 1623-1632. doi:10.1517/14656566.2011.585459

Benjamin, S.,McQuoid, D. R., Potter, G. G., Payne, M. E., MacFall, J. R., Steffens, D. C., & Taylor, W. D. (2010). The brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism, hippocampal volume, and cognitive function in geriatric depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 18(4), 323-331. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181cabd2b 

Williams, J. W., Plassman, B. L., Jr., Burke, J. R., Holsinger, T., & Benjamin, S. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 193.(Prepared by the Duke Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. HHSA 290-2007-10066-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 10-E005. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2010. Abstracted in BMJ Evidence Updates and ACP Journal Club.

Benjamin, S., & Taylor, W. D. (2010). Nature and Nurture: Genetic Influences and Gene-Environment Interactions in Depression CurrentReviews in PsychiatryVolume 6, Number 2, May 2010 Pp. 82-90


  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada), 2018
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Geriatric Psychiatry), 2016
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Geriatric Psychiatry), 2012
  • Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 2011
  • Residency in General Adult Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 2010
  • MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, 2002

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