Medical Student

Program Directors:​​Dr. Christian Schulz-Quach (Psychosocial Oncology rotations)
Dr. Ahmed Al-Awamer (Palliative Care electives)

Affiliated with the University of Toronto, the Department of Supportive Care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre offers electives in both Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. Students wanting an elective experience or observership in learning more about the psychosocial and symptom management aspects of cancer should consider an elective with our department at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Education Coordinator (Palliative Care):
Sherene Tay

Education Coordinator (Psychosocial):
Janithaa Sathiyaseelan


About the Medical Student Experience

Medical students have the opportunity to complete a 2- to 4-week elective clinical rotation in psychosocial oncology. This experience includes an introduction to the role of psychiatry in oncology for inpatients and outpatients over age 18, covering all cancer types and disease stages. Students will learn about the psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of cancer for patients and families at diagnosis, during active treatment, in the event of recurrence, after completing treatment, through survivorship and during palliation and end-of-life care. Students will have the opportunity to observe and perform psychiatric assessments with supervisors to aid in developing diagnostic and formulation skills, improving communication skills with medically ill patients, including at end of life, as well as attend various rounds and seminars.

Medical students also have the opportunity to complete a 2- to 4-week clinical elective in palliative care. This experience includes managing primarily inpatients on the Palliative Care Unit and/or through the palliative care consultation service. Exposure to patients in outpatient clinics can also be included in the elective experience. Students will learn a bio-psychosocial approach to the care of people with advanced cancer, including care of the dying patient, pain and symptom management, and individualizing care based on patient and family needs and preferences. Weekly academic half-days specific to palliative care will augment bedside learning.

More information is available at:
Last reviewed: 3/27/2022
Last modified: 3/28/2022 11:05 AM