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Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship

Overview

The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) offer a one-year PGY-5 Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship designed to prepare psychiatrists for a career in forensic psychiatry. 

Applications are currently being accepted for the fellowship year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

WPIC has a long history of expertise in forensic psychiatry, beginning in 1974 when Loren Roth MD and Alan Meisel JD founded the Law and Psychiatry Program to serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and practice in the area of law and mental health.  Today, the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship and its dedicated teaching faculty continue this tradition of excellence and innovation, bringing enthusiasm, energy, and a broad range of expertise.  Pittsburgh also hosted the 2015 Midwest American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting (MWAAPL).

The Fellowship features practical training at the interface of psychiatry and the law, including criminal evaluations (e.g., insanity, competency to stand trial, juvenile de-certification), civil matters (e.g., fitness for duty, worker’s compensation, disability, guardianship, immigration), and treatment in correctional settings (e.g., prisons, juvenile detention, specialized sexual offender sites). 

The Fellowship encourages academic, teaching, and leadership interests, such as through collaboration with other psychiatric and medical subspecialties across WPIC and UPMC, cross-collaboration with University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and involvement with local, regional, and national professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL). 

Nationally recognized experts and authorities in forensic psychiatry, including former American Academy of Psychiatry and Law Presidents Loren Roth MD and Robert Wettstein MD, as well as nationally renowned researchers, such as Sue Beers PhD, Edward Mulvey PhD, and Carol Schubert MPH, are closely involved in the fellowship and take a keen interest in academic mentorship.

Additional benefits of the fellowship program include covering expenses and fees to attend the AAPL Annual Meeting and reimbursement to cover enrollment in the Forensic Psychiatry Review Course.

Didactic Curriculum and Direct Supervision

The curriculum is designed to cover AAPL landmark cases, review essential topics relevant to the practice of forensic psychiatry, and to prepare for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Initial Certification in Forensic Psychiatry examination. The material is presented in weekly two-hour blocks throughout the fellowship year.

Supervision is a central component of the fellowship that concentrates on report-writing, expert testimony, scholarly projects, and career development.  Although weekly two-hour supervision time is formally dedicated, supervision is readily available as needed by our closely involved faculty.

Core fellowship didactics are supplemented with a Law and Psychiatry course through the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Clinical Experiences

Behavior Assessment Unit
The Behavior Assessment Unit (BAU) is a court-appointed diagnostic clinic at the Allegheny County Jail providing assessments for judges and officers of the Criminal Court of Allegheny County.  As the second oldest diagnostic court clinic in the country, the BAU enjoys a long history and an excellent reputation. This provides a depth and range of experiences not often available to trainees. Fellows are actively involved in assessment for competency to stand trial, insanity defense, diminished capacity, and mitigation, which can include evaluations for malingering.  Experiences in child de-certification assessments, probation recommendations, and parole evaluations are also available.  Proficiency in reviewing legal documents, writing reports, and testifying in court is an integral component of the rotation.

Correctional Psychiatry (Cove PREP and SCIP)
Fellows are involved in the treatment of inmates at two sites throughout their fellowship: Cove Psychosexual Rehabilitation and Education Program (PREP) and the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh (SCIP).  Cove PREP is a specialized 34-unit secure facility for juvenile sexual offenders, and SCIP is a prison setting to adults.

Forensic Outpatient Treatment
Essex House and Services for Adolescent and Family Enrichment (SAFE) clinic are two sites that may be selected to fulfill the requirement for intensive outpatient treatment of mentally ill offenders. The rotation consists of assessment of dangerousness, development of treatment plans, experiences with intensive case management, and treatment of substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Because the patient population of both of these sites consists of a high number of sexual offenders, fellows will have the opportunity to develop experience in their assessment and treatment. The trainees follow two cases for at least six months to gain an appreciation of the problems involved with of chronically mentally ill offenders.

Forensic Risk Assessment, Management, and Education (FRAME) Team
Fellows participate in a pilot forensic consultation service to help assess and manage potentially violent patients who are currently involved with psychiatric treatment in clinical settings.  Fellows will be involved in developing this program, identifying potential roles and limitations of specialized risk assessment and management strategies in clinical settings, and education, training, and quality improvement projects.

Individual Forensic Cases
Cases are referred from many sources which assure the fellows a rich and varied experience including assessments for criminal competencies, criminal responsibility, death penalty mitigation, disability, fitness for duty, guardianship, malingering, malpractice, testamentary capacity, violence risk, and worker’s compensation. 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.

Juvenile Court of Allegheny County – Shuman Juvenile Detention Center
Shuman Juvenile Detention Center provides fellows with experiences in assessing juvenile offenders. Report writing is a key focus of the rotation. Opportunity for involvement in the treatment of juvenile sexual offenders is also available for fellows who have completed a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship.

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Clinics
Fellows are involved in three University of Pittsburgh School of Law Clinics: Elder Law, Immigration Law, and a Veteran’s Practicum.  The clinics provide unique opportunities for psychiatric assessments, report writing, and expert testimony, and collaboration with law professors and students on scholarly projects. 

Research, Publications, and Presentations

Mentorship for research and scholarly activities is available for original projects or for ongoing studies through WPIC, UPMC, or the law school.  Publications are encouraged, especially in forensic psychiatry publications, such as the AAPL Newsletter and the Journal of the AAPL (JAAPL).

Fellows are significantly involved with teaching medical students, law students, psychiatry residents, and paraprofessionals.  Fellows present at local meetings, including a monthly Forensic Psychiatry Services Case Conference, a quarterly Forensic Psychiatry Journal Club, and the annual Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society meeting, and are encouraged to participate in regional and national meetings, such as the Midwest Chapter of AAPL (MWAAPL) and the national AAPL, including committees, poster presentations, and oral presentations.

Electives

Electives and additional opportunities are available based on fellow interest and elective availability.

Time Distribution

Behavior Assessment Unit
Rotation: 6 months
Weekly: 10-12 hours, plus 1.5 hours staffing monthly
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Correctional Psychiatry 
Rotation: 6 months
Weekly: 10-14 hours
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Forensic Outpatient Treatment 
Rotation: 12 months
Weekly: 4 hours
Supervision: 1 hour per week

FRAME Team
Rotation: 12 months (cases referred by primary psychiatric teams)
Weekly: 3 hours
Supervision: 1 hour per week

Individual Forensic Cases and Law Clinics
Rotation: 12 months
Weekly: 4 to 8 hours
Supervision: 2 hours per week, and as needed

Juvenile Court
Rotation: 12 months
Weekly: 4 hours
Supervision: 1 hour per week


Program Director


Abhishek Jain, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Stipend

2015-2016: $58,906 per annum, (PGY5), plus full health coverage
2016-2017: TBD

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 a maximum five-year period.

Qualifications

Applicants must have completed a residency in adult psychiatry. Applicants must be American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (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 August 1, 2015 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:

Abhishek Jain, M.D.
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
3811 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593
Phone: (412) 246-5394
FAX: (412) 246-5425
Email: jaina@upmc.edu