Reflecting on a Resident Track workshop
Dr. Rejish Thomas
Transcultural Psychiatry: A Focus on Refugee and Aboriginal Mental Health
by Rejish Thomas, Anika Maraj, Delphine Daigneault-Leclerc, Sharleen Gill
This seminar was renewed after first being presented last year, with more focus on group work around two difficult cases.
Like last year, the crowd identified that there remains a large disparity of teaching transcultural psychiatry in residency among Canadian psychiatric residencies. However, it was our group’s goal that a similar workshop as the one provided could be emulated by the residents in the crowd, in a residents teaching residents format.
Through the lens of the cultural formulation interview, residents and staff came to the conclusion that patients that experience mental illness differently and have different understandings of psychiatric illness are often underserved by “treatment as usual.”
Through the difficult and real cases, together we came to an interesting conclusion. In psychiatry, when clinicians see a severe presentation with diagnostic uncertainty, the reaction is often to treat more aggressively with psychopharmacological treatments and subject patients to more intensified diagnostic techniques. But often, in transcultural psychiatry, for long term benefits, the therapeutic alliance and the community as a whole, a patient, understanding and flexible approach to a severe presentation is often more productive.
The preliminary feedback we received from the staff, residents and medical students in the audience was positive and I speak for the whole group of presenters when I say it was a pleasure to present.
If anyone is interested in presenting a transcultural case or topic next year with a group of residents or would like information on how to organize a seminar in their residency, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.