Ronald Leung is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McMaster University
“I think I’m dying,” one of my patients says to me one day. We stop, halting in the middle of the hallway of the inpatient acute psychiatry unit that leads toward the interview rooms in the back. She takes in my expression of concern and waves it away. “Not like that,” she laughs, launching into a monologue on the philosophical fragility of human existence. She is articulate beyond her years, just entering the second decade of her life.
She also reminds me of Jude. Despite the disparities in their age and appearance—she is a petite millennial with a distinct sense of style in contrast to middle-aged Jude with his crisp oxford shirts—the same strings seem to reverberate when they speak. ...continue reading →
Jason Gencher is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Toronto
Today is the day. I have waited six months for today. I’m so tired, I can barely get myself out of bed. What time is it? I’m so hungry. Those Timbits look old, but I’m too hungry to care about that. I’m so tired — maybe I’ll go back to sleep? Don’t I have something to do today? Why is there this weird taste in my mouth? What she’s saying is all lies. There’s no truth in it all. They say things about me, but it’s all a big lie. One giant lie. When did I get this fat? It’s because of the medication. I used to be slim and athletic. But now I have circulation problems. It’s the medications they give me. ...continue reading →
Sarah Chauvin is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Toronto
Collateral. Collateral. Collateral. Three weeks in a psychiatric Emergency Department, and I have more than a mere appreciation for collateral: I’ve come to understand it as a key diagnostic investigation.
Toward the end of my weekend call shift, my young patient with severe alcohol use disorder and borderline personality disorder — who had been discharged the week prior with an addictions referral — was back in the ED for alcohol intoxication. Though I had been cautioned that the patient would likely return, I was disappointed to see her name back on the patient-tracking list. ...continue reading →
Barbara Sibbald, News and Humanities editor for the Canadian Medical Association Journal, reads the CMAJ Humanities Encounters article "Words, deeds and interpretations". The article is written by Dr. Mary Seeman, professor emerita, in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
In the article, Dr. Seeman, an older psychiatrist, recounts how acting instead of talking can net rather dire results. The events are true but happened decades ago.
Domhnall MacAuleyis a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.
I have just read your book - or, should I say, it completely captivated me. I couldn’t put it down. What a compelling life story. When you lectured about depression at those Masterclass lectures I chaired years ago I was so impressed with your grasp of the topic, your understanding of the difficulties facing family doctors, and your overall approach to managing the condition. You had such a clear understanding and appreciation of depression and the difficulties of treating it in practice. And, you were so assured, confident, on top of your subject. I had chaired many similar sessions but yours were outstanding. There wasn’t even the slightest hint that your understanding extended so far into your personal experience. ...continue reading →
Peter Uhlmann is a semi-retired psychiatrist from Powell River, BC. He works as a locum consultant psychiatrist to several Northern communities.
In 2004 I started providing psychiatric locum service to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. I worked in the local mental health centre and also on the psychiatric ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Later I travelled to three other communities; Hay River, Ft Smith, and Ft Simpson. For a few years I served those three communities on a regular basis every three to four months. As well as seeing patients, I would provide in service to health providers and education to community agencies. In 2006, I began working in four Inuit communities in Nunavut, specifically in the Kitikmeot region. I would service Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Gjoa Haven, and Cambridge Bay. I still travel to these communities twice a year, and provide back up consultation via telehealth, telephone, or email. ...continue reading →
Richard Doan is a Psychiatrist with Inner City Health Associates and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario
On December 19, the Globe and Mail reported developments in the case of an unprovoked stabbing death of a vibrant young woman in a downtown Toronto drugstore by an also-young, and unknown, female assailant. As it turns out, the alleged assailant, though well-dressed and well-educated, was homeless and living on the street. It also appears that she was likely seriously mentally ill.
This story, as sad as it is, is naturally of interest to me, a psychiatrist who works with a street outreach team serving people who are homeless in Toronto. I never met the alleged assailant, but I wish I had. Then again, it is not certain that any involvement or intervention by our team would have made a difference.
The Globe and Mail reported that the alleged perpetrator habitually wore “an immaculate black suit and dress shirt” and had an MBA ...continue reading →
University of Toronto
Class of 2016
Gulliver’s Travels, a familiar story from many of our childhoods, lends itself to highlight the significance of cultural psychiatry. Do we – as the tiny people of Lilliput were so quick to bind the shipwrecked Gulliver – similarly evaluate the patient in front of us with a reflexive comfort of our own sociocultural experiences? In view of such juxtaposition of ...continue reading →
Normand Carrey is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
I feel sad for the families of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who were killed on October 20 and 22 in Quebec city and Ottawa, respectively. I equally feel sad for the countless other grieving families left up picking the pieces after a loved one is killed by someone where mental health issues are suspected.
After the murder of Corporal Cirillo, US Senator John Kerry wasted no time in flying to Ottawa before any analysis could take place as he announced without any doubt that these were pure unmitigated acts of terrorism. A cottage industry of TV pundits was trotted out to tell us that now we have something else to fear –self radicalization in vulnerable youth and the home-grown or lone wolf terrorist. It was good to hear, however, in the subsequent week, public debate with many callers reminding the experts about the role of mental health in such tragedies. Why did the media and politicians neglect to include in their debate and analysis of recent events other just as horrifying acts? Where was the mention of ...continue reading →