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Detailed Information

The forensic psychiatric fellowship offered by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (WPIC/UPMC) is a one year PGY5 program to prepare psychiatrists for a career in forensic psychiatry. While the program offers a strong didactic curriculum including the opportunity to participate in a course in criminal law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, the depth and range of the clinical experiences is its major strength. The opportunities for civil and hospital based cases offered by UPMC and the university law clinics, as well as the full range of criminal cases provided by the criminal court of Allegheny County, combine to provide a rich and varied experience for the fellow.

Didactic Program

The didactic material is presented in a yearlong seminar designed to cover a core curriculum which includes topics relevant to the practice of forensic psychiatry and for preparation of the examination for Additional Qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry. A special seminar on the landmark cases is offered. Additionally, journal club and grand rounds are required. Mock trial experience is available.

Clinical Experiences

Torrance State Hospital Forensic Unit

Torrance State Hospital houses a 70-bed forensic unit. It is one of only three such units in the state of Pennsylvania, which assures a varied spectrum of clinical cases. The patient population consists of both male and female defendants who, for the most part, have not yet been adjudicated or sentenced. The fellows are involved in assessing competency, dangerousness, and the right to refuse treatment as well as the supervision and treatment of the mentally ill offender and making presentencing recommendations. Report writing is an integral part of the rotation. Fellows participate in treatment team meetings, and case conferences including predischarge conferences.

Allegheny County Behavior Assessment Unit

The Behavior Assessment Unit is a court appointed diagnostic clinic whose objective is to assist the judges and officers of the Criminal Court of Allegheny County. As the second oldest diagnostic court clinic in the country, the Behavior Assessment Unit enjoys a long history and an excellent reputation. This provides a depth and range of experience not often available to trainees. Fellows are actively involved in assessment for competency to stand trial, insanity defense, diminished capacity, and mitigating factors. These issues include evaluation for malingering. Experience in decertification evaluations, probation recommendations, and parole evaluations is also provided. Proficiency at the review of legal documents and report writing is developed. Testimony in court is an integral part of the rotation.

Forensic Outpatient Treatment

Essex House and SAFE clinic are the two sites which may be selected to fulfill the experience requirement in intensive outpatient treatment for mentally ill offenders. The objective of the rotation consists of experience at intensive case management, development of treatment plans, assessment of dangerousness, and treatment of substance abuse,  and dual diagnosis Since the patient population of both of these sites consists of a significant number of sexual offenders, the fellow will have the opportunity to develop experience in the assessment and treatment of sexual l offenders. The trainees are expected to follow two cases in an intensive outpatient for at least six months. In general, the fellows are expected to gain an appreciation of the problems of chronically mentally ill offenders.

Juvenile Court of Allegheny County – Shuman Center

The rotation at Shuman Center provides fellows with experience in assessment of juvenile offenders. Report writing is required. Opportunity for involvement in the treatment of juvenile sexual offenders is also available.

Family Court of Allegheny County

The objective of the family court rotation is to provide the fellows with experience in the assessment of child abuse and evaluation for the termination of parental rights as well as child custody evaluations. Additionally, the fellows will gain a familiarity with the policies and procedures of Children and Youth Family Services. Report writing is an integral part of the rotation.

Liaison/Geriatric Service

This rotation allows the fellow through consultation request, to develop skills in evaluating medical competency, informed consent, the right to refuse treatment, and ECT competency. Risk assessment for dangerousness in maintaining a patient on the medical service versus the psychiatric service is also developed.

Civil Forensic Issues

Civil cases are referred from many sources which assure the fellows of a rich and varied experience including assessment for psychic damage, disability determinations, diagnosis of PTSD, detection of malingering, evaluation for workman’s compensation, evaluation for fitness for duty, and malpractice. Cases involving guardianship of the estate and person and testamentary capacity are included. The fellows develop proficiency in the review of legal documents and medical records, as well as clear and accurate report writing. Testimony in court is involved when indicated.

Correctional Psychiatry

The fellows will be involved in the treatment of the mentally inmate at one of two sites:  the Allegheny County Jail and the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh thus providing the varied experience of treating inmates during a short term incarceration awaiting trial or sentencing and of treating inmates in a long term penal institution.

Research

The fellows are expected to be active participants in the teaching programs for the psychiatric residents and medical students, and paraprofessionals. Research is available either through an original project or through participation in ongoing studies,

Electives

Electives are available in the treatment and assessment of sexual offenders and at Summit Academy.  Further opportunities exist in criminal courts in outlying counties.

Time Distribution

Torrance State Hospital Forensic Unit
10-14 hours per week, 6 months

Allegheny County Behavior Assessment Unit
10-12 hours per week plus 1.5 hours per month staffing, 6 months
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Forensic  Outpatient Treatment
4 hours per week, 12 months
2 cases to be followed for 6 months or more
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Correctional Psychiatry
10-12 hours per week for 1 year
Supervision: I hour per week

Juvenile Court
4 hours per week, 3 months
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Family Court
2 to 4 hours per week, 3 months
Supervision: 2 hours per month

Liaison/Geriatric Service
2 hours per week, 12 months
Supervision: 2 hours per month

Civil Forensic Issues
4 to 8 hours per week, 12 months
Supervision: 1 to 2 hours per week

Faculty

Stephen Zerby M.D.
Program Director of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship UPMC/WPIC                  
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Abhishek Jain, M.D.
Program Co-Director of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship UPMC/WPIC
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Stipend

$58,906 per annum, (PGY5), plus full health coverage

Fringe benefits include fees for the annual meeting of the AAPL and enrollment for the Forensic Board Review Course.

Accreditation

Accredited by the ACGME for 5 years from April 2009.

Qualifications

Applicants must have completed a four-year residency in adult or child psychiatry. Applicants must be ABPN board eligible and have passed USMLE STEP III. They should also be eligible to obtain a medical license in the state of Pennsylvania.

Application Process

Applications should be submitted by February 21, 2014 accompanied by a CV and three letters of recommendation including one from the chairman of the department of psychiatry where a residency was completed. Inquiries and applications should be directed to:

Stephen Zerby, M.D.
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
3811 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593
Phone: (412) 802-8618
FAX: (412) 647-9339
Email: zerbysa@upmc.edu