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W.O. McCormick Academic Day

Our largest annual conference

Academic Day is an annual event jointly sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry, the Nova Scotia Health Authority Central Zone Addictions and Mental Health Program and Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine Continuing Professional Development. It features multiple speakers focused on a chosen theme. In 2014, for the first time the day was recognized as the W.O. McCormick Academic Day in honour of the late Dr. William Ormsby McCormick who passed away in 2013. Dr. McCormick was a fixture in the Department of Psychiatry and was the mastermind behind Academic Day.

The inaugural Nova Scotia Hospital Academic Day, as it was originally called, took place in 1989 at the Nova Scotia Hospital and was part of Dr. McCormick’s strategy to have all clinical sites active in the academic mission of the department.

Academic Day was popular from the very beginning, but once established the numbers wishing to attend often exceeded capacity and people had to be turned away. Today, not a year goes by that Academic Day, which is open to faculty and the public, is not sold out.

Held at a new and larger venue, The Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, this year’s Academic Day on the theme “Diversity in Mental Health” was another highly successful, sold out conference, with 260 participants consisting of physicians, multidisciplinary mental health professionals, educators, mental health court staff, residents and students. Educationally co-sponsored by Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine Continuing Professional Development, the conference was designated for up to 6.25 credit hours for MAINPRO-MI of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and as an accredited group learning Section 1 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Maintenance of Certification activity.

Chaired by Dr. Heather Milliken the morning session consisted of a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Laurence Kirmayer from McGill University on "Transcultural Psychiatry" followed by presentations by local speakers Dr. Ingrid Waldron on "Troubled Waters: The Psychological Impact of Environmental Racism in African Nova Scotian Communities" and Dr. Carolyn Thomson on "Resilience."

Chaired by Dr. Lukas Propper, the afternoon session featured a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Gail Knudson from UBC, on" Transgender Mental Health" followed by presentations by local speakers Dr. Amy Bombay on "Indigenous Mental Health" and Dr. David Gardner on "The Impact of Differences in Age, Gender and Physical Health on the use of Psychotropic Medications in Clinical Practice."

The evaluations submitted by participants were overwhelming very positive and planning is already underway for the XXIX W.O. McCormick Day to be held April 27, 2018.  

You can view all presentations from XXVII W.O. McCormick Academic by visiting our YouTube channel or clicking on the video below.