Overview of Training

The fellowship will prepare fellows for the full range of potential forensic work as covered in the Goals of Training. Learning is accomplished primarily through didactics and clinical experience.

  • Didactics occurs one day per week, and involves discussion of landmark court cases, journal articles, textbooks, and other reading sources.
  • Fellows will spend two days per week for half of the year at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup, Maryland and the other half of the year at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC. These rotations compose the core clinical experience for assessment of competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, and dangerousness in a civilian population.
  • Fellows will spend one day per week for half the year with the FBI at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime in Quantico, Virginia. This rotation involves working directly with FBI special agents as consultants to active criminal investigations. May involve exposure to a variety of special criminal topics including serial murder, serial sexual murder, arsonism, bombers, threat assessment, criminal profiling, and crime scene analysis.
  • Fellows will spend one day per week providing psychiatric services in a correctional facility. Options at this time may include opportunities through videoteleconference (VTC) at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the military's long-term prison, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or at Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center, a juvenile detention facility, in Rockville, Maryland.
  • Fellows will participate in a monthly Ethics seminar at the uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland. This didactic develops fellows’ ability to conduct ethical analyses of issues specific to forensic psychiatry.
  • Fellows will be assigned as expert consultants to active military courts-martial. Fellows will examine legal and criminal investigative documents under attorney-client privilege, assess defendants when permitted, and deliver expert testimony in court when pertinent. This may involve government-funded travel to military bases throughout the world.
  • Fellows will serve as the primary forensic consultant for Walter Reed, assisting in assessment of patient issues such as involuntary commitment, involuntary medication, ethics issues, medical competence issues, disability, security clearance, and malpractice.
  • Fellows will conduct 706 evaluations (sanity boards) with supervision by the fellowship director.
  • Fellows will complete at least one psychological autopsy through the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.
  • Fellow will attend a criminal law course through a law school.
  • Fellows will serve on hospital committees with forensic elements.
  • Fellows will participate in a Quality Improvement (QI) project for the fellowship.
  • Fellows will conduct a scholarly project. This project may involve clinical research, the goal of which would be to produce a product suitable for presentation or publication. Depending on the scope, the project may take longer than the one-year fellowship, but up-to-date results and summary will be presented at forensic didactics at year’s end.

Forensic Psychiatry


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