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Geriatric Psychiatry Residency Program


The Department of Psychiatry at McMaster University offers a RCPSC accredited, comprehensive and innovative subspecialty training program in geriatric psychiatry. The subspecialty program provides training in all CanMEDS required experiences including inpatient, outpatient, outreach, nursing home, and consultation settings. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and the affiliated Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals are the major training sites. Joint consultation clinic and academic teaching sessions with Geriatric Medicine (Program Director: Dr. Tricia Woo) and Neuropsychology (Dr. Emily MacKillop) are special interdisciplinary experiences.


The mission of our training program is to train outstanding geriatric psychiatry clinicians, encourage and support the development of clinicians interested in scholarly activities, research and academic careers. The applicants must be interested in working with older adult patients from a variety of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.


During subspecialty training, the PGY6 resident (or trainee) will have no emergency on-call responsibilities. The trainee may be responsible to provide supervision to psychiatry residents and medical students on the inpatient, outpatient/outreach, and consultation services, give formal lectures to residents and medical students on topics related to geriatric psychiatry. The trainee may be responsible for 3-4 weekly psychiatric outpatient/outreach consults, 1-2 weekly consults on the medical or surgical units, and 4-5 inpatient/outpatient to follow up. The trainee may be asked to present 1-2 times a year at Journal Club and/or at Complex Clinical Rounds. The trainee will be expected to complete a systematic literature review, original research project, or other scholarly projects. The trainee will be strongly encouraged to attend either the Canadian or American Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry annual meeting. The trainee will have secretarial support, use of an office and a computer.


The curriculum includes joint seminars on selected topics with Child Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry. Geriatric Medicine and Neuropsychology Programs. Supervision is provided by Program Faculty Members. The trainees will benefit from their interaction with the Geriatric Medicine, Neuropsychology, Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care, and Neuroimaging Training Program, and the considerable resources of the McMaster medical centres.

Clinical requirements are structured according to the Geriatric Psychiatry Competencies and Entrustable Professional Acts as identified by the RCPSC.

The curriculum activities are tracked, recorded and evaluated by our program administrator.


Our training program has an organized schedule of rotations and other educational activities occurring at various training sites, and aimed to offer each trainee the opportunity to meet the educational requirements and achieve competence in the subspecialty of geriatric psychiatry. Major educational sites participating in this program and the coordinators at these sites are listed below.

Training Site  Coordinator
 St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (Inpatient)  Dr. Jonathan Crowson
 St. Joseph's Healthcare Niagara/Halton/Brant (Outreach)  Dr. Mariam Aziz
 St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (Outpatient)  Dr. Karen Saperson
 Haldimand/Norfolk (Outpatient)  Dr. Karen Saperson
 Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS)  Dr. Karen Saperson
 St. Joseph's Healthcare Telepsychiatry (Outpatient)  Dr. Karen Saperson

 HHS St. Peter's Centre for Health Aging (Outpatient)

 Dr. Karen Saperson

Geriatric Subspecialty Program - Important Dates:

  • Application Deadline: September 1, 2021
  • Interview Dates: October 13, 2021 - applicants will be notified of their eligibility for interview by mid to late September
  • Questions? Contact Department Subspecialty Coordinator, Menika McKeegan.

The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Program at McMaster University, in keeping with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada requirements, consists of two years of training in geriatric psychiatry and related areas. The intent is for residents to enter this program as a PGY5 and complete training with a PGY6 year. Please note that we do not accept international applicants at this time. Residents are asked to apply in the year prior to their anticipated entry.

The Department of Psychiatry is calling for Applications to the Geriatric Subspecialty Program for entry beginning July 2021. Residents in their PGY4 year for the 2021-2022 academic year who are completing their Psychiatry Residency in a PRCPSC recognized program are eligible to apply. Interested residents entering their PGY5 year in July 2021 are encouraged to contact the Program Director directly about eligibility as certain rotation criteria must be met in the PGY5 year to be an eligible applicant.

One year of eligible rotations should be completed during PGY5 in a recognized Psychiatry Residency program in Canada and the resident must be eligible to write the RCPSC (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) examination in general psychiatry at the end of their PGY5 year.

Complete details on training requirements can be found on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Website under Geriatric Psychiatry

The Division offers an extraordinary breadth and depth of clinical experiences with excellent, dedicated supervisors and teachers. Training will occur primarily within the St Joseph’s Healthcare setting, with additional experiences in Hamilton Health Sciences, Community and Long-term care settings, and affiliated teaching sites in Waterloo and Niagara regions. We are affiliated with McMaster’s Institute of Geroscience Research.


For consideration of enrollment in this program, please submit the documents listed below by mail:

  • A letter of Intent
  • Completed: PGME Application Form 
  • Three Letters of Reference (one from current program director and at least one a from Geriatric Psychiatry supervisor)
  • An updated C.V.

Address to mail these documents:

Dr. Tracy Cheng c/o Menika McKeegan
Address: 100 West 5th Street, Room B367
Hamilton, Ontario  L8N 3K7

All application information must be received by September 1, 2021. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All eligible applicants will have their file reviewed by the Geriatric Psychiatry Residency Program Committee. A short list of applicants will be selected and invited for a interview to occur ​in September/October ​2021.

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