Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Education and Training

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Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship




Overview

The primary goal of this ACGME accredited training program is to provide forensic psychiatric fellows the opportunity to gain didactic knowledge and practical experience in Forensic Psychiatry in order to develop the skills necessary to practice the subspecialty in an ethical and scientific manner. The fellow will receive training and education involving administrative, civil, criminal, correctional, and legislative issues. He or she will learn the legal regulation of psychiatric practice and be able to provide expert psychiatric evaluation and treatment in both forensic and correctional settings. The program will also offer fellows the opportunity to develop their specific interests in this subspecialty, including research, child forensic psychiatry, neuro-law experiences with neuro-imaging in forensic cases, and to learn how to work effectively with forensic psychologists and other mental health experts in forensic settings. The program is fully accredited by the ACGME.

Program Director
Robert L. Sadoff, MD
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Duration
The Forensic Psychiatry Training Program is full-time over a twelve-month period.

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Application Information

Eligibility: The fellow must have satisfactorily completed an ACGME accredited general psychiatry residency prior to entering the program.

With the application, please attach the following information:

  • A completed application form (click here to download)
  • A copy of your Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement – explaining your interest in Forensic Psychiatry (one page)
  • Two current Letters of Recommendation
  • Summative Evaluation from your Residency Training Director
  • Dean’s Letter and Medical School Transcripts
  • USMLE Scores (Steps 1, 2, & 3)

If you are an International medical graduate, we accept the J1 and H1B Visas and you will need your ECFMG Certification. 

All application materials for the 2015-2016 academic year must be received prior to September 30, 2014. Please submit all materials to the address below. Faxed copies of application materials are acceptable.

Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship c/o Linda Ramos
University of Pennsylvania Health System
3535 Market Street – 2nd Floor
Room 2073
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Rotations

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
HUP offers experiences in outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and consultation psychiatry, all under faculty supervision. Among other areas, HUP provides specific clinical opportunities in the roles and responsibilities of forensic psychiatrists, as well as the opportunity to observe patients presenting a broad variety of psychiatric disorders. In addition, the majority of the didactic experiences in the training program will occur at HUP and at other locations on the University of Pennsylvania campus, including the University of Pennsylvania Law School. All didactic lectures, the weekly seminar and the journal club meetings will be held at the University of Pennsylvania.


Philadelphia VA Medical Center (PVAMC)

The PVAMC provides specific clinical opportunities in: assessment of competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, amnesia, testamentary capacity, and civil competency; assessment of dangerousness; ethical, administrative, and legal issues in forensic psychiatry; legal regulation of psychiatric practice; writing of a forensic report; ethics of genetic counseling; basic civil procedure; responsibility; tort law; psychiatric disability determinations; psychiatric malpractice; personal injury litigation; and developmental disability law. In addition, during their didactic experiences, fellows will learn about issues related to government hospitals with various forensic psychiatric questions, and will be exposed also to the Ethics Committee of the hospital and will attend seminars and rounds on Ethical Issues in Psychiatric Practice. All training will be under the direct supervision of Henry Bleier, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.


Ann Klein Forensic Center (AKFC)

AKFC is a forensic psychiatric hospital which provides fellows with specific clinical opportunities in assessment of competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility/insanity defense, assessment of dangerousness, malingering, involuntary treatment, right to refuse treatment, competency to refuse or consent to medical treatment, civil commitment, right to treatment in least restrictive environment, safe release of persons acquitted by reason of insanity, amnesia, diminished capacity, evaluation and treatment of sex offenders, evaluation and treatment of incarcerated individuals, basic criminal procedure, and forensic report writing. In addition to the clinical experience, the fellows will have the benefit of supervision for each of their cases, which will include didactic academic research on the nature of the case, the criminal situation, and its relevance in forensic psychiatry, under the supervision of Elizabeth Hogan, MD, Medical Director, Ann Klein Forensic Center. Fellows will have the opportunity to travel to various Superior Courts for hearings regarding Competency to Stand Trial, Criminal Responsibility/Sanity at the time of the offense, and need for commitment of individuals found Not Guilty by Reason Insanity. Fellows may receive clinical experience in ethical, administrative, and legal issues in forensic psychiatry. Additional educational opportunities include a clinical review panel and testimony at Krol hearings.


Delaware Health and Social Services - Delaware Psychiatric Center (DHSS - DPC)
DHSS - DPC offers experiences in assessing and treating criminal defendants and working with correctional personnel in a State Hospital setting. The program is directed by Clarence Watson, M.D, J.D. a Board Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and an Attorney. The Fellow will under supervision assess defendants for competency, criminal responsibility, and recommendations for treatment. All training and clinical experiences will be under the direct supervision of Clarence Watson, MD, JD, Director of Forensic Psychiatry at DPC where fellows receive similar training and didactics as they do at AKFC.


University of Pennsylvania Law School Clinic (UPLSC)
Criminal and Civil Cases
The Law School Clinic provides training in the areas of: ethical, administrative, and legal issues in forensic psychiatry; jurisdiction; tort law; family law; abandonment law; and mental health law. Fellows first receive an intensive introduction into trial techniques, Pennsylvania criminal law, procedure, and evidence. During this rotation, trainees are also assigned mock cases to prepare in addition to observing actual preliminary arraignments, preliminary hearings, and trials in Municipal Court. Fellows are given the opportunity to interact with their clients, members of the judiciary, District Attorneys, witnesses, and complainants. Under direct faculty supervision, fellows work with real clients in need of legal services in both civil and criminal cases. They also gain the opportunity to actively collaborate with law students. Fellows may attend classes in Mental Health Law and Criminal Law taught by Professor Stephen Morse, PhD, JD. Fellows also have the opportunity to work with law students in a number of law clinics under supervision of Professor Louis Rulli, JD.


Court Mental Health Clinic of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas (CMHC)

Forensic Assessment of Criminal Defendants
The Court Mental Health Clinic provides specific clinical opportunities in: assessment of competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, amnesia, testamentary capacity, and civil competency; assessment of dangerousness; ethical, administrative, and legal issues in forensic psychiatry; jurisdiction; confession; competence to stand trial; competence to enter a plea; testimonial capacity; voluntariness of confessions; insanity defense(s); diminished capacity; evaluations in aid of sentencing; and safe release of persons acquitted by reason of insanity. The fellows will be supervised by Robert Stanton, MD, Medical Director, Philadelphia Mental Health Court Clinic.


Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI)
Assessment and Treatment of Sex Offenders and Victims of Sex Assaults (Outpatient)
The JJPI offers supervised experiences in the assessment and treatment of sex offenders and victims of sex assaults in an outpatient setting. Fellows will gain training experience through the cases they evaluate, didactic lectures on sexual abuse and pathology, and in the treatment of victims of sexual abuse. Among other areas, the JJPI provides specific clinical opportunities in the assessment of the accused sexual offender. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work with faculty members of the forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program on private cases involving assessment of sex offenders as Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) under Pennsylvania Law.


Program in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The fellows will work under the supervision of Steven Berkowitz, MD, Director of the Child Trauma Center at Hall-Mercer of the Pennsylvania Hospital evaluating children involved in civil legal matters and adolescents charged with criminal behavior. These individuals are currently housed at the Philadelphia Youth Study Center. The fellows will have the opportunity to work with the child forensic psychiatry and psychology members of the fellowship faculty observing and participating in private civil and criminal cases involving children and adolescents under the direct supervision of Annie Steinberg, MD, Director of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry of the Fellowship Program. In addition, Judges of the Family and Dependency Courts send cases for the fellows to evaluate under supervision.

 

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Didactics

Basic Principles of Law
The seminar on basic law will be presented by a distinguished faculty of law professors and practicing attorneys and will cover issues of basic law, and other topics, for forensic psychiatrists. The curriculum will cover both federal and state court systems, their structures, subject matter, and jurisdictions. Discussion of Drug Court and other special courts and Mental Health Courts will also be presented. Various issues of correctional, criminal law and civil procedures, especially in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will be discussed in detail. Issues, including interface of Psychiatry and Law, will also be presented and reviewed. Various diagnoses and particular crimes will also be discussed as forensic psychiatric issues within the law.


Landmark Cases

This seminar will discuss the cases specifically listed by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), and significant other cases will be added and reviewed in depth by our law faculty. Cases will be assigned to the fellows to be discussed during the seminar. The fellows will present the details of the case and their understanding of the significance of each case in forensic psychiatry. Additional cases will be presented as needed, especially more timely and recent cases, and specifically those relating to Pennsylvania law.


Practical Applications in Forensic Psychiatry

This is a seminar that Dr. Sadoff had begun over 30 years ago and has been running continuously at the University of Pennsylvania. Forensic psychiatric fellows will have the opportunity not only to participate in the weekly seminar, but also to present his/her cases or research to the members of the seminar twice during the academic year. Topics include Criminal Responsibility, Competency, Risk Management, and Civil, Criminal, Administrative, and Child Case Conferences.


Forensic Psychiatry Case Conference

The Case Conference will include cases presented by fellows emerging from their experiences at their clinical rotations.


Lectures in Psychiatry and the Law

This lecture series will be the basic didactic presentation for the fellows on a number of issues related to their work, including administrative, legislative, civil, and criminal matters. It will cover such topics as competency, criminal forensic psychiatric issues, civil matters, legal regulation of psychiatric practice, ethics in forensic psychiatry, and issues of correctional and legislative psychiatry. These lectures will present the basic issues in forensic psychiatry in both criminal and civil matters as well as in regulatory and administrative psychiatry. The seminar will include discussion of current ethical and professional issues as they relate to the work in forensic psychiatry.


Each fellow is expected to participate in a research project during the year of training and present the results of the research at the weekly seminar "Practical Applications in Forensic Psychiatry" All didactic lectures are coordinated by Kenneth Weiss, MD, Associate Director, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program and the Landmark cases discussed with our faculty who are dually degreed in psychiatry and law, Clarence Watson, MD, JD and Susan Rushing, MD, JD.

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Contact Information

For additional information on the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, please contact:

Robert L. Sadoff, MD
Program Director
Ph: 215-887-6144
sadoffbobsadoff@aol.com

Linda Ramos
Program Coordinator
215-746-7248 Phone
215-746-7202 Fax
lindara@upenn.edu

Mailing Address
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship c/o Linda Ramos
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
3535 Market Street – 2nd Floor
Room 2073
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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