ACGME Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship


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 
Clarence Watson, J.D., M.D.

Associate Program Director 
John Northrop, M.D., Ph.D.

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

PGY 5 - $83,041.00
PGY 6 - $86,534.00

Stipend toward yearly trip to Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Additional information pertaining to salary rates and benefits can be found here 

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Application Information


All applicants must complete an ACGME-accredited residency in general psychiatry prior to entering our program. 

With the application, please attach the following information:

  • A completed application form (click here to download). Appreciate you completing our program specific application as part of your application packet. 
  • A copy of your Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement – explaining your interest in Forensic Psychiatry (one page)
  • Two writing samples. The writing samples may include forensic reports, authored articles, or patient evaluations/discharge summaries
  • Two current Letters of Recommendation
  • Residency Training Director, Summative Evaluation Letter of Recommendation
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) and Medical School Transcripts
  • USMLE Scores (Steps 1, 2, & 3)

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

Summary Timeline for 2025 - 2026 Fellowship Year:

  • May 1, 2024: First day programs can review applications and/or contact applicants to schedule interviews. 
  • August 1, 2024: First day programs can conduct interviews. 
  • September 16, 2024: First day programs can offer positions to candidates.
  • 7 calendar days after offer of position: Programs can withdraw an offer if they have not received an acceptance from the applicant. 
  • 24 hours after accepting a position: Applicants must inform all other programs to which they have applied that they have accepted a position and are withdrawing their candidacy. 

You may email your application documents directly to Linda Ramos at   Please visit the AAPL website for additional information pertaining to the application process at

Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship c/o Linda Ramos
University of Pennsylvania Health System
3535 Market Street – Suite 200, Room 240
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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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 Michelle Joy, M.D., Board Certified in Forensic 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 forensic hospital setting. The program is directed by Patricia Figgs, M.D., Clinical Director of Forensic Psychiatry Services at DPC where fellows receive similar training and didactics as they do at AKFC.

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.

Program in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The fellows will work under the supervision of Richard Weyler, MD, at Hall-Mercer of the Pennsylvania Hospital evaluating children involved in civil legal matters and adolescents charged with criminal behavior. 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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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.

The Journal Club
Is a weekly activity in which the fellows and faculty discuss current literature and case law in all areas of forensic psychiatry.

Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry
Is a year-long series of lectures and discussions on all aspects of forensic applications: juvenile justice, civil matters, development, trauma, divorce and custody, parental rights, child welfare.

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:

Clarence Watson, J.D., M.D.
Program Director 
Phone 215-746-3066

Linda Ramos
Program Administrator
Phone 215-746-7248 

Mailing Address
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship c/o Linda Ramos
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
3535 Market Street – Suite 200, Room 240
Philadelphia, PA 19104 

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