Dr. Tania Oommen Named Department of Psychiatry’s New Resident Program Director

For the first time ever, the Department of Psychiatry’s Resident Program will be supervised by a three-person leadership team.

01 February 2020

For the first time ever, the Department of Psychiatry’s Resident Program will be supervised by a three-person leadership team.

Dr. Tania Oommen, a staff Psychiatrist at Grey Nuns Hospital for the past six years, was appointed Resident Program Director in early December. Dr. Oommen completed her Residency at the University of Alberta.

She will be assisted by Dr. Roger Brown and Dr. Katharine Hibbard, both of whom will serve as Associate Resident Program Directors. 

Dr. Brown, who previously served as Interim Program Director, completed his Residency at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is a Forensic Psychiatrist at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.

Dr. Hibbard, who did her Residency at McGill University in Montreal, is a staff Psychiatrist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“Overall, I’d say there’s a desire to integrate the Residents more into the community as a whole, so we’ll be reaching out to all the different sites across the region and across all the subspecialties,” says Dr. Oommen.

“The U of A has always had a focus on creating very good generalist Psychiatrists, but we’ll also be encouraging Residents to consider subspecialty training routes including Geriatric Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. Our approach is on building a very solid general base of knowledge in Psychiatry with the opportunity to specialize further.”

Dr. Brown says he’s looking forward to becoming closely involved in the training of Residents and sharing his expertise in Forensic Psychiatry.

“My work at Alberta Hospital involves doing assessments for the court. That’s the only unit I work on now. It’s actually an assessment unit. But I wanted to get more involved in teaching and education,” he says.

Another key goal of the leadership team is to enhance the relationship between Residents and staff, says Dr. Hibbard, who has coordinated training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a member of the Residency Program Committee for the past several years.

With a three-member leadership team. that should also help the Resident Program operate more smoothly, says Dr. Oommen.

“I think it’s very helpful and very valuable to have this kind of increased time commitment and resource allocation dedicated exclusively to the Resident Program. So I think that’s been a very positive shift and I hope it means we’ll have more time to dedicate to making improvements to the program.”