Specialty Psychiatry

Subspecialty General

Role and Facility Information

Vancouver ACT is looking for a psychiatrist to work with two teams that serve community-dwelling clients with complex mental health needs. The target population typically has high levels of comorbidity including substance use disorders, general health problems, and significant risk of aggression. The work is fast paced, exciting, and intense in nature. Collaborative care-planning and problem solving are keys to finding clinical and practical interventions to support these complex clients, many of whom are certified under the Mental Health Act, and maintain them successfully in the community.

Staff compliment: Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Health Care Workers, Peer Specialists, GP, Concurrent Disorders Clinician, Clinical Coordinator, and Vancouver Police ACT liaison officer

Caseload: Approximate caseload of 50 clients in Vancouver across the two teams

Daily Routine: Predominantly outreach client contacts, both independently and with clinical colleagues in a variety of settings including private residences, SROs, shelters, corrections offices, jail, and public areas (i.e. coffee shops).


The psychiatrist will provide consultation to primary care physicians and nurse practitioners in one or two busy publicly funded and operated clinics in Vancouver, B.C. The patient population has barriers to the typical office-based family practice and often has comorbid physical health and mental health disorders; concurrent substance use is very common. The psychiatrist will offer both indirect and direct consultation on common mental health problems such as anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis and addiction in a fast-paced service.

Expertise in psychopharmacology and current treatment guidelines, brief counseling, and behavioral interventions is essential, and knowledge and skill in opioid agonist therapy are desirable. The psychiatrist should be motivated to work in a collaborative team environment and to communicate succinctly and respectfully with other physicians, counselors and allied health providers.

In addition, some portion of the work will be with a mental health team. In this role, the psychiatrist will provide service to adults who have a diagnosis of major mental illness and experience significant impairment in functioning in the community. Characteristics of the patients include a history of psychiatric hospitalizations; unstable housing and/or relationships; difficulties with activities of daily living; high risk for co-occurring medical conditions and substance use; refractory treatment history; and risk of causing harm to self or others.

Psychiatrists working in within the Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community Mental Health Services will approach care by:

• Placing the patient at the centre

• Utilizing a team based approach, providing consultations as required and longer-term longitudinal psychiatric care when needed

• Practicing trauma-informed care

• Having a recovery-oriented approach

• Participating in evolving methods in health improvement and care delivery, such as shared care

• Employing the principles of community-based psychiatric care

• Collaborating in managing addictions and concurrent substance use disorders


• Full or provisional licensure by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons

• Current fellowship or eligible for fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada

• Current membership in the Canadian Medical Protective Association

In the Community Mental Health Team role, the successful candidate will report to the Medical Director, Vancouver Community Mental Health Services, the local Medical Coordinator(s), and through them to the Senior Medical Director, Vancouver Community. In the ACT role, reporting is to the Medical Director, Vancouver Acute Mental Health Services, the local Medical Coordinator(s), and through them to the Senior Medical Director, Vancouver Acute. Additionally, the successful candidate will be appointed as medical staff of VCH. Once appointed to VCH, the physician should seek a clinical faculty appointment with the University Of British Columbia Faculty Of Medicine as resident supervision and involvement in education initiatives is expected.

All VCH physicians must be appointed as medical staff of Vancouver Coastal Health; on-call participation is optional. A clinical faculty appointment with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine is expected as resident supervision and involvement in education initiatives is an expectation.

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