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Spotlight on Research and Scholarship

Sophiya Benjamin


Sophiya Benjamin MBBS, FRCP(C), DABPN


Research Work

GeriMedRisk is an interdisciplinary geriatric psychiatry and clinical pharmacology consultation and education service that supports clinicians caring for the older adult through a combination of technology and traditional consultative services. Our team consists of pharmacists and physicians specializing in geriatric medicine, clinical pharmacology, internal medicine and geriatric psychiatry. GeriMedRisk provides real-time assistance to clinicians by assisting in the management of complex pharmacology issues for older patients. This service enables clinicians to optimize their older patients’ medications and provides a rich learning environment for medical trainees at the post-graduate level.

In the context of this clinical service, our team conducts multiple quality improvement projects to optimize the clinical service and the processes for knowledge translation and capacity building. Examples of ongoing projects include

  • the development and testing of focused infographics of drug information that are delivered to family physicians with consults
  • evaluating the need and utility of Best Possible Medication History (BPMH) in electronic consultations
  • systematic reviews of focused questions that arise through our clinical work
  • using operations research methods and simulation to optimize clinical flow and efficiency

Funded by the Ministry of Health, GeriMedRisk has grown from a pilot in the Waterloo Wellington Region to a program serving clinicians across the province. Our work was highlighted by the Ministry of Health in the most recent National Dementia Strategy (Appendix B) as a program providing rapid and timely access to geriatric specialists. 

My interest in the integration of physical and mental health care of older adults continues in my administrative and advocacy work as the interim Co-Medical Director of the Provincial Geriatric Leadership office, which connects the various Regional Geriatric Programs and Specialized Geriatric Programs of Ontario.

Before moving to Ontario in 2013, my work focused on evidence synthesis in working with the Duke Evidence Based Practice Centre on factors associated with the reduction of risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline and with the Veteran’s Health Administration on identifying effective tools to detect anxiety disorders in primary care. ​

Recent Publications

  1. Postgraduate trainee views on eHealth at a distributed medical campus Sophiya Benjamin, Hugh Kellam, Jeff Alfonsi and Joanne Ho  Journal of Regional Medical Campuses, Vol. 1, Issue 5 (2019)
  2. Anticonvulsants for behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia: protocol for a systematic review Benjamin S Williams J Cotton C Tung J An H et. al. Systematic Reviews 2019 vol: 8 (1) pp: 118
  3. Joanne Man-Wai Ho, Jennifer Tung, Janine Maitland, Derelie Mangin, Lehana Thabane, J. Michael Pavlin, Jeffrey Alfonsi, Anne Holbrook, Sharon Straus & Sophiya Benjamin Pilot and Feasibility Studiesvolume 4, Article number: 116 (2018)

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