Dr. David Duncan

Dr. Duncan brings to his patients at Peel Memory and Cognitive Disorders Clinic, the benefit of over 20 years of experience providing neuropsychological assessment and consultation services in acute care hospital settings. In that environment his clinical work has focused on:

• Establishing the cause of medically unexplained cognitive   symptoms;
• Distinguishing between the cognitive changes associated with   normal aging, those produced by psychological disorders such as   depression and the effects of progressive neurological conditions   such as Alzheimer’s Disease;
• Differentiating between different types of dementia;
• Determining the cognitive effects of stroke and other acquired   neurological conditions in order to identify treatment needs;
• Identifying the impact of cognitive changes on everyday
  functioning.

Dr. Duncan’s practice has included extensive collaboration with family physicians, medical specialists (e.g., neurologists and psychiatrists) and other health practitioners such as speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists who provide treatment and rehabilitation to persons with cognitive impairment. This experience has reinforced that a neuropsychological assessment can make a significant contribution to health care and it has taught him how to communicate assessment findings to other health practitioners in a manner that facilitates diagnostic decision making and treatment planning.

Arriving at an accurate diagnosis is important, but Dr. Duncan believes that an effective neuropsychological assessment involves more than assigning a label. An effective assessment is a collaborative process that helps the person completing the tests develop greater understanding of their strengths and weaknesses so that they can cope more effectively with cognitive changes. An effective assessment also produces clear answers to the questions that are relevant to the person being assessed.

Dr. Duncan was the Professional Leader for Psychology at William Osler Health Centre for 19 years (1990-2009). He participated in the development of the hospital’s clinical ethics program and chaired the Corporate Ethics Committee for 10 years. He has an interest in ethical issues related to consent, capacity and the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Education and Professional Registration:

• Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, York University

• Registered Psychologist, Province of Ontario

• Listed in the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology

Professional Memberships:

• American Psychological Association

• Canadian Psychological Association

• International Neuropsychological Society

• National Academy of Neuropsychology

• American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (Affiliate Member)