Offers forensic elective for medical students. Contact program director for details.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School Fellowship in Law and Psychiatry offers an exciting one year program designed to provide comprehensive training in forensic psychiatry. The program capitalizes on a multi-disciplinary faculty with extensive forensic and academic experience. Our faculty include forensic psychiatrists and psychologists who have received national recognition for their contributions to law and psychiatry. The program offers a wide range of opportunities to perform criminal and civil evaluations. Rotation sites include the Court Evaluation Unit of Worcester State Hospital and Bridgewater State Hospital, a maximum-security forensic hospital. At each site, fellows conduct inpatient criminal forensic evaluations such as competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, aid in sentencing, and need for treatment of inmates. Participation in clinical treatment of persons involved with the criminal justice system varies across sites. Part-time rotations include placement at juvenile and adult court clinic sites, as well as the opportunity to work with senior faculty in conducting private, civil and criminal evaluations related to areas such as community risk assessments, guardianship, fitness for duty, disability, sex offender assessment, and malpractice. The program offers other elective opportunities (e.g. committee participation with the University of Massachusetts Ethics Office, child custody evaluations, and treatment of sex offenders and paraphilias) to meet the interests of the fellow. During the training year, fellows gain experience with legal, correctional, and mental health systems and the political forces that can directly impact forensic psychiatric practice.
Educational components of the program include intensive supervision of all cases, report preparation and court testimony. In addition, fellows attend a comprehensive weekly seminar series covering areas related to civil and criminal forensic assessment methods, research issues, mental health law and landmark legal cases. Fellows also attend multiple statewide forensic mental health training conferences sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and they receive an educational stipend to support attendance at the AAPL meeting and for other educational purposes.
During the training year, fellows work on an empirical research project or on a review of a topic relevant to law and psychiatry. Opportunities exist for both involvement in faculty research projects and for faculty supervision of academic projects selected by the fellow.