by Dr. Skye Rousseau – PGY 5
Dr. Magdalena Orzylowski – PGY 5
This past June we attended the Royal College of Psychiatry International Congress in London as part of an annual exchange with the Canadian Psychiatric Association. We were both greeted eagerly and warmly by the junior doctors (equivalent to residents) and consultants (equivalent to attendings) we met during our stay. The venues and many events were quite impressive, particularly one evening which included a ride across the river Thames in a gondola followed by a dinner in the “Painted Hall”, a beautiful, historic building in the Old Royal Naval College.
The theme of the conference was “Brain, Body, and Mind”. It emphasized the interface between psychiatry and other disciplines. Some highlights included presentations by Jon Stone, whose work has had worldwide influence on treatment of functional movement and functional cognitive disorders, the latter of which we had not even heard of; and Paul Appelbaum’s presentation on ethics and informed consent. There were so many great presentations that we found it difficult to decide which ones to attend. The whole conference was well organized and a great learning experience.
We were asked to give a presentation about psychiatry residency in Canada and the UK residents (junior doctors) who had just recently been on strike, had many questions about length of training, supervision, working hours, salaries, and prospective career opportunities in Canada. Overall, training seemed to be very similar with respect to the rotation expectations and supervision, overall length of time, salary, and working hours, whereas many seemed to think career opportunities were comparably quite good in Canada.
We would like to thank the Canadian Psychiatric Association for funding our conference fees for the event. We would also like to thank our UK hosts for their gracious hospitality. The conference was a resounding success and we really enjoyed our time in London. This collaboration between Canada and the United Kingdom continues to grow and evolve and we are really happy that we were able to be a part of this experience this year.