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.

XXX W.O. McCormick Academic Day Conference 2019

Theme: Do we have your attention?: ADHD and more.
When: Friday, May 10
Where: Westin Nova Scotian Hotel

Full Schedule and Floor Plan [PDF - 304KB]



Sponsored by:  Dalhousie University, Department of Psychiatry
Educationally cosponsored by
:  Dalhousie University, Continuing Professional Development

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the Continuing Professional Development Office of Dalhousie University for up to 5.75 Mainpro+ credits.

As an accredited provider, Dalhousie University, CPD, designates this continuing professional development activity for up to 5.75 credit hours as an accredited group learning Section 1 activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

In keeping with CMA Guidelines, program content and selection of speakers are the responsibility of the planning committee. Support is directed toward the costs of the course and not to individual speakers through an unrestricted educational grant


After attending the conference, participants will be able to:
1. Identify common psychiatric causes of impaired attention.
2. Discuss an approach to evaluating and managing patients’ attention-related complaints.
3. Describe the clinical features of ADHD.


Blanca Bolea

Presentation title: Pharmacological Treatment of ADHD Adults with Comorbidities

Dr. Blanca Bolea, M.D, M.Sc. (Affective Neuroscience, University of Maastricht, Holland), Ph.D. (University of Bristol, UK), underwent specialist psychiatry training in Madrid (Spain) with rotations at the Maudsley Hospital (London, UK) and at the Cantonal Hospital of Fribourg, (Switzerland). She joined the Psychopharmacology Unit at Bristol University in 2005 and worked under the supervision of Prof. David Nutt with whom Dr. Bolea founded the Bristol Adult ADHD Clinic in 2008, one of the first clinics dedicated to the disorder in the UK. She is a founding member of UKAAN (UK Adult ADHD Network), an organization that aims to improve care for adults with ADHD in the UK. She has been an advisor for several charities and organizations such as ADD-UK (Attention Deficit Disorder –United Kingdom) and the Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission. She coordinated and was first author of the recently updated British Association for Psychopharmacology evidence based guidelines for the management and treatment of ADHD in adults. She moved to Toronto in 2016 and is currently working as a Staff Psychiatrist in the telepsychiatry service at CAMH and in the Scope program At Women’s College Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto and an Innovation fellow with the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV). Her research interests include the pharmacology of ADHD, perinatal, environmental and social risk factors leading to attentional symptoms in children and adults, and psychiatric epidemiology.


  • Assess current evidence for pharmacological treatments of ADHD in the adult with comorbid psychiatric disorders.
  • Increase awareness of possible interactions and common side effects of medications for ADHD in patients with comorbid diagnoses.
  • Review monitoring requirements specific to this group of patients.

Gail Eskes

Presentation title: Paying attention to attention

Dr. Gail Eskes is a clinical neuropsychologist and Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, and Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed postdoctoral research and clinical training in Halifax as well as at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Eskes is an active educator and researcher focused on developing and testing assessment and intervention methods for attention and other cognitive deficits in normal aging and after brain injury and disease. Her research has been funded by the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CIHR, NSERC, Nova Scotia Health Authority and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.


  • Increase understanding of the different forms of attention and the underlying brain networks
  • Improve knowledge of how these networks are related to attention pathologies

Carlin J. Miller

Presentation title: Psychological approaches to understanding and managing ADHD

Dr. Carlin J. Miller an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario and is a registered Psychologist. She completed her undergraduate work at Washington & Lee University, holds a graduate degree in special education from Vanderbilt University, and a doctorate from the University of Georgia. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in New York City under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey Halperin. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she coordinates the clinical neuropsychology stream within the doctoral clinical psychology program at the University of Windsor. Dr. Miller’s clinical mentoring is with doctoral students in the on-campus Clinical Neuropsychology Service she founded in 2018. Although most of her research career has focused on the neuroscience of ADHD from preschool through emerging adulthood, more recently she shifted her focus to the implementation of mindfulness interventions to promote resiliency in a broad range of individuals, including caregivers of children with ADHD. Dr. Miller has published more than 40 articles and has made more than 60 presentations on ADHD and related topics to audiences across North America. She is a member of the Editorial Board for Psychological Assessment and serves as a reviewer for a number of publications, including Journal of Attention Disorders, Mindfulness, and Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the need for intervention beyond pharmaceutical-only approaches to ADHD treatment;
  • Describe psychological interventions that may be used as complementary therapies for ADHD in a treatment package with or without pharmaceuticals;
  • Identify which interventions may be more appropriate for a given patient in light of the overall risk profile, including familial, environmental, and individual risk factors.


Sonia Chehil

Presentation title: Approaches to a Chief Complaint of 'I Can't Focus'  

Dr. Sonia Chehil is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the deputy clinical director of the Central Zone Community Mental Health and Addictions Program. She holds a Master’s in Educational Psychology, has specialty training in both child and adolescent psychiatry and international psychiatry, and also completed an International Masters in Health Leadership. She previously held the positions of director of the Global Psychiatry at Dalhousie, associate director of the Dalhousie WHO Collaborating Center, mental health technical advisor to the Ministry of Health Guyana, and associate director of the Dalhousie WHO Collaborating Center in Mental Health. She served two terms on the board of the World Federation for Mental Health and was actively engaged on numerous global mental health research advisory committees. Since 2014 she has focused on providing clinical care and leadership here at home.


After the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe important aspects of the initial assessment of patients complaining of problems focusing
  • Identify factors indicating the need to involve a psychiatrist in the care of the patient.

Neera Datta (Co-presenter, Bonnie Waugh)

Presentation title: Attention in the University Population

Neera Datta is a registered psychologist specializing in psychoeducational and ADHD assessments for adults. Neera graduated with a Master of Education degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, and with a Master of Science degree with specialization in the area of School Psychology from the University of Calgary. She has experience working within a hospital environment, the public school system, a private school for students with learning disabilities (LD), and private practice. Neera currently works at Dalhousie University where she provides screening assessments, learning strategies, consultation, and advocacy services to students with LD and ADHD.

Bonnie Waugh

Bonnie Waugh is a psychologist specializing in psychoeducational assessments and programming, for children (age three and up), teenagers, and adults with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She also provides coaching services for individuals with ADHD. Bonnie graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Masters of Arts in School Psychology. She has provided psychological services at a private non-profit day school for children with learning disabilities. In the public school system, and within the university setting. Bonnie has experience with specialized program plans for student based on their individual learning strengths and needs with professional development activities for teachers working with LD students.


  • To understand how psychologists tailor and determine specific strategies to use with individuals diagnosed with ADHD or with individuals who experience difficulties with focus/inattention
  • To learn non-pharmaceutical strategies that can be offered to individuals diagnosed with ADHD or with individuals who experience difficulties with focus/inattention

Risk Kronfli

Presentation title: ADHD management in Offender Health: Challenges and Rewards

Dr. Kronfli is currently an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University involved in teaching and supervision of fellows and residents.  He is the chair of Nova Scotia Health Authority Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee and a forensic psychiatrist at the Mentally Ill Offender Program at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. Dr. Kronfli is also the clinical director of the Provincial Offender Health Program and is directly involved with care delivery at the main Provincial Correctional Facility.  Before coming a Psychiatrist, Dr. Kronfli practiced as a surgeon in Cairo and a family doctor in Sydney, Nova Scotia. 


  • Simplifying the diagnosis
  • Appreciate the need for treating ADHD in Offender Health
  • Understand the Challenges and Diversion Potential

Joseph Sadek

Presentation title: Important Aspects in treatment of ADHD in all age groups

Dr. Sadek is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University and a clinical academic leader at the Nova Scotia Hospital. He is also an associate scientist with the Maritime SPOR Support Unit (MSSU). Dr. Sadek is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (DABPN) 2008, and fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) (2005). In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Sadek also holds a pharmacy degree and an MBA. He has authored four books and is an external reviewer for the Journal of Attention Disorders, The Canadian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease.

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • List the different classes of medications used to treat ADHD and how to select one
  • Describe the adverse effects of each class of medications used in ADHD treatment and how to manage the adverse effects
  • Describe situations where certain medications should not be used in treatment of ADHD
  • List possible strategies to guard against misuse, abuse and diversion of ADHD medications