Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) of the University of Pittsburgh offers a one year long fellowship designed to prepare trainees for a career in forensic psychiatry.
The didactic material is provided in the yearlong seminar covering a core curriculum designed to include all the relevant topics, both criminal and civil, in forensic psychiatry, including discussions of the landmark cases. The University of Pittsburgh Law School offers a course in mental health law for the fellows and collaborates in a landmark case seminar. UPMC Forensic Psychiatry Services provides a monthly clinical case conference. Fellows also participate in a quarterly journal club.
The major strength of the program is the depth and range of the clinical experience. Rotations include Torrance State Hospital Forensic Unit and the Allegheny County Behavior Clinic, which is an agency of the criminal court of Allegheny County and the second oldest diagnostic court clinic in the United States. The inclusion of the Allegheny County Behavior Clinic and Torrance State Hospital Forensic Unit assures the fellows of the opportunity to assess the defendants in many major criminal cases involving mental health issues in Allegheny County. Additionally, fellows rotate through both adult and juvenile sexual offenders programs, provide evaluation and treatment at a medium security prison, and conduct assessments for the criminal court of Westmoreland County. Fellows also observe juvenile and family court assessments. Civil cases are referred from various sources such as the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Civil Practice Clinic which yields a wide range of experience. Risk assessments are provided for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic inpatient and outpatient services. Clinicians who have practical experience and are recognized authorities in their fields including Robert Wettstein, MD, and Edward Mulvey, PhD. Fellows are expected to participate in teaching programs for psychiatry residents and medical students. Research with opportunities for original projects or participation in ongoing studies, particularly in risk assessment for violence, is sponsored by an active and nationally renowned staff.
WPIC is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, a beautifully restored city, located in scenic western Pennsylvania. The city affords all the amenities of city living including three major professional sports teams, a lively cultural district and the friendliness and convenience of a small town with manageable traveling distances.
Fringe benefits include fees for the annual meeting at AAPL and enrollment in the Forensic Psychiatry Review Course.