Brain Medicine Fellowship
Addressing an emerging need to approach the study of the brain with an interdisciplinary lens and collaborative approach.
The Brain Medicine Fellowship will be offered by the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine for a 2021 start date. This innovative fellowship has been designed to address an emerging need to approach the study of the brain with an interdisciplinary lens and a collaborative approach.
The Brain Medicine fellowship is a competency-based program that aims to provide its fellows with transdisciplinary competencies that complement their postgraduate specialty training; protected time will be provided for academic activities. Candidates must have completed a residency training program in geriatric medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, or other brain-related specialty.
“Traditionally, medical fellows become further subspecialized within their discipline of residency training. With the Brain Medicine Fellowship, they are empowered to expand their expertise beyond their specialty of origin so that they can serve as experts at integrating multiple perspectives on complex brain diseases,” explains Dr. Sara Mitchell, a neurologist at Sunnybrook and the director of the Brain Medicine Fellowship program.
“The Brain Medicine Fellowship focuses on integrating care and incorporates expertise from various specialties with a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment of brain disease. A fellow with psychiatry training, for instance, may work with neurologists, neurosurgeons, geriatric specialists, radiologists and other experts that they may not have traditionally interacted with during psychiatry residency. This specialized training aims to broaden the experience for our fellows and create competencies to help them to provide enhanced care for patients with complex brain disorders.”
There are two streams for the Brain Medicine fellowship: a clinical stream and a research stream. There is one position available for the clinical stream and up to three positions available for the research stream.
Fellows in the clinical stream of the Brain Medicine fellowship will focus on the assessment and treatment of impaired affect, behaviour, and cognition (ABC) in complex brain disorders. They will also explore the impact of these disorders on functional abilities, quality of life, and interpersonal relationships. The fellow will gain clinical exposure to multiple complementary disciplines including geriatric medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, or psychiatry. The successful fellow will dedicate most of their time to clinical work (up to 80%) and the rest of their time to academic work (creative professional activity, education, research).
In addition to the one clinical stream fellowship position, there will be up to three Brain Medicine research fellowship positions. In this first cohort of Brain Medicine research fellows (up to 3 fellows), the focus of the research stream will be on the interactions between depression and dementia and will be supported by a collaborative initiative between the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA), and funded by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Trainees will develop a research focus under a collaborative mentorship of experts in the field from at least two TDRA sites (i.e., Baycrest, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, and University Health Network) as they work toward becoming independent investigators. The successful fellows will dedicate 20% of their time to clinical work and 80% of their time to research. Fellows will be recruited to focus on preclinical research or on clinical and translational research.
More details on the Brain Medicine Fellowship
Supporting Toronto’s capacity to care for persons with dementia.
To better support the memory clinics across Toronto, the TDRA has launched a one-year Clinical and Research Fellowship program that will provide new doctors with additional training in the diagnosis and management of dementia. Fellows will also take part in research, contributing to the goal of the TDRA to advance the path to a cure for dementia.
Fellows will receive training in the diagnosis and management of adult cognition and behavioural disorders in neurodegenerative and related disorders that also cause changes in cognition and behavior. These include a variety of cognitive tests, functional and behavioural responsiveness, MRI, SPECT and PET imaging, and fluid biomarkers (CSF and blood). Fellows will also gain experience in diagnosis and management of complex patients with co-existing neurodegenerative disorders and late life mental health disorders.
A total of five fellowships are available, each based at one of the TDRA partner institutions. Training is equivalent across all five TDRA partners; however there are some differences in the physician specialties and clinical populations at each site. In the application process, candidates are encouraged to indicate their preference. At each site, fellows will gain clinical experience in dementia, in the following context:
- Baycrest: cognitive neurology, geriatric psychiatry and/or geriatrics;
- CAMH: geriatric psychiatry; neurology; neuropsychiatry;
- St. Michael’s Hospital: geriatric psychiatry;
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre: cognitive neurology and/or geriatric psychiatry;
- University Health Network/Toronto Western Hospital/Toronto Rehabilitation Institute: cognitive & behavioural neurology; geriatric psychiatry
Meet the 2019-2021 TDRA Fellows
Dr. Eslam AbdellahBiography
Dr. Fatemeh "Naghmeh" BahariBiography
Dr. Carly ScramstadBiography
"During my fellowship I had the opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of clinical care in cognitive neurology, alongside a team of experienced physicians, nurses and psychometrists. Being a fellow during the pandemic also allowed me to develop new skills in virtual care. From a research perspective, I was able to work alongside clinical trial staff, gleaning insight into the support and resources required to effectively enrol patients in clinical trials. I continue to work on a database research project looking at white matter hyperintensities in dementia. Moving forward, I will be building my practice as a cognitive neurologist and looking to share the tools and experience I learned in fellowship with my future colleagues and patients."
Dr. Mehrdad MaboudiBiography