University of British Columbia Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program Description

NOTE: This fellowship program is for physicians.

The University of British Columbia Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program offers a comprehensive clinical experience in Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology. Our patient base consists of a mixture of patients with complicated unexplained physical symptoms including:

somatoform disorders
somatization disorder
conversion disorder

and patients with documented neurological diseases with psychiatric manifestations such as:

Tourette Syndrome
movement disorders
multiple sclerosis
neurodegenerative conditions (eg. dementias)
neurobehavioral syndromes
SLE, vasculitides and other neuro-inflammatory conditions

We are consulted on patients whose presentations appear neurological but atypical as well as on patients whose presentation is clearly psychiatric in the context of a difficult to treat neurological condition.

Fellows gain a diverse set of clinical skills that include comprehensive:

neuropsychiatric history taking
performing neurologic examination specific to neuropsychiatric conditions
cognitive-intellectual screening
correctly order and interpret labs (including CSF studies)
imaging studies
neuropsychological batteries
perform sodium amytal interviews


Fellows are expected to work on the inpatient unit with a multidisciplinary team (including social worker, OT, PT, experienced nursing staff) with whom they frequently consult for corroborative patient data. As an adjunct to the neuropsychiatry experience, the fellow's self-directed learning is strongly encouraged during rotations meant to build his/her understanding of the neuropsychiatry of various neurological conditions.  Regular journal club, weekly neuroradiology, neurosciences, and neuropsychiatry rounds, and biweekly didactic seminars supplement the educational experience.

We believe the strengths of the program are in the inpatient neuropsychiatry experience, the strong connections to and interactions with the neurology, neuroradiology, and neurosurgery programs in our institution, in the diversity of patient referrals to our program, supervision of a number of experienced faculty with varying clinical interests, and the quality of the multidisciplinary team.

The two-year fellowship in Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology includes the following: 

YEAR 1: “Neurology for Psychiatrists”:

functional neuroanatomy course
EEG/seizure investigation unit
inpatient and outpatient neurology (includes MS, dementia, neuromuscular disease, and movement disorders, traumatic brain injury/rehabilitation medicine, HIV neurology clinics)

Or “Psychiatry for Neurologists”:

inpatient and outpatient general psychiatry with a focus on:
mood disorders
personality disorders
concurrent disorders (substance use disorders and Axis I and/or Axis II conditions)
geriatric psychiatry
emergency psychiatry with a focus on acute mental status changes
child and adolescent psychiatry
sleep medicine

YEAR 2:  Inpatient and outpatient Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology for Neurologists and Psychiatrists with supervision by the Neuropsychiatry Faculty at UBC.

Call is expected for approximately 1/3 of the year in Neurology at a frequency no greater than 1 in 3; call is expected for most of the year in Psychiatry at a frequency no greater than 1 in 7. There is no call in 2nd year. Research, presentations, and completion of certification by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry are expected but not required.

Core Neuropsychiatry faculty include: Dr. Trevor Hurwitz (Neurologist and Psychiatrist; program director), Dr. Robert Stowe (Behavioral Neurologist), Dr. Anton Scamvougeras, Dr. Leon Berzen, Dr. Joseph Tham, Dr. Andrew Howard, Dr. Magda Ilcewicz, Dr. Marius Dimov and Dr. Islam Hassan (Neuropsychiatrists), Dr. William Panenka (Neurologist and Psychiatrist), and Dr. Brenda Kosaka (Neuropsychologist).  General and subspecialty Neurologists, general and subspecialty Psychiatrists, Neuroradiologists, Neuroanatomy professor, Physiatrists with expertise in traumatic brain injury, and Behavioral Neurologists with specialization in Cognitive Disorders complete the supervising faculty.