The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Western University continues to be very active on all academic fronts. Regarding research, Dr. Akshya Vasudev (PI), Dr. Amer Burhan (Co-I), Dr. Stephen Wetmore (Co-I, family medicine) and their research team were successful in securing a grant application from the AMOSO innovation fund (200,000 over two years) to study automatic self-transcending meditation compared to treatment as usual for depression in seniors. The project will recruit participants over two years (2014-2016).
Dr. Subramanian, Dr. Varapravan and Dr. Rybak are collaborating with Dr. Burhan to expand the use of the Virtual Interactive Case Program (VIC) to different competencies in psychiatric education. They were awarded the 2014-2015 Fellowship in Teaching Innovation from Western teaching support centre to study the validity and feasibility of VIC in enhancing suicide risk assessment by medical students.
Regarding education, Dr. Elizabeth Finger, Cognitive Neurology, was guest speaker for the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, spring CPD Rounds, moderated by Dr. Burhan. She gave an update on fronto-temporal dementia and the overlap with psychiatric disorders following a case presentation by Dr. Manujaya Maldeniya (PGY2 psychiatry).
The South Western Ontario Geriatric Assessment Network (SWOGAN), held its annual spring team exchange and networking event on May 27, 2014. With leadership and support from the divisions of geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry, this event hosted more than 100 health care providers with a focus on the care of the elderly. An expert panel discussed topics such as consent and capacity, including guest speaker Dr. Amer Burhan who discussed psychiatric and cognitive issues related to Parkinson’s disease, which was the theme of the day.
The Division members Dr. Amer Burhan and Dr. Lisa Van Bussel are contributing to the development for the Centre of Cognitive Vitality and Brain Health at Parkwood Hospital. This centre brings together the expertise of the disciplines of geriatric medicine, psychiatry, neurology and physical medicine to advance research, education and service delivery as it relates to those who suffer from or are at risk of cognitive disorders. Thus far, the centre has hosted three grand round events with speakers including Professor Adrian M. Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, on the topic of Harnessing the Power of the World Wide Web for Cognitive Assessment.
The Division is in planning stages for its 12th Annual Geriatric Psychiatry Symposium for November 2014. Planned keynote speakers include Dr. Anton Porteinsson, clinical trials expert in dementia, and Ms. Judith Wahl, lawyer in the field of older adults.
Dr. Doering and Division members have completed the application for the subspecialty residency in Geriatric Psychiatry at Schulich and the application will be submitted to the Royal College by the end of June. We anticipate potential approval by fall 2014 and potentially accept our first resident to this program in 2015.
Amer M. Burhan, MBChB, MScCH candidate, FRCPC (Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry),
Diplomat in Neuropsychiatry Assistant Professor and Acting Chair, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry,
Schulich/Western University Adjunct Professor (Psychiatry) U of Toronto RCPSC Region 3 (Ontario) CPD Educator 519-4555110 x47326