Northwestern’s fellowship in forensic psychiatry is offered within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. This is a one-year, ACGME-accredited training program at the PGY-5 level designed to train psychiatrists with a strong career interest in the practice and teaching of forensic psychiatry. The fellowship is a unique collaboration between public-sector (Jesse Brown VA Hospital and Cook County government) and private (Northwestern University) institutions.
The didactic component of the program consists of a year-long lecture series devoted to in-depth examination of landmark cases, medicolegal practice, psychological assessment relevant to forensic work, and relevant scientific and statistical concepts.
The experiental portion of the fellowship involves participation in specialty and diversion court programs, evaluation of individuals for determination of disability, and participation in ethics consultations at the Jesse Brown VA Hospital. In addition, fellows rotate through the Cook County Juvenile Justice Center, evaluate psychiatric inpatients for purposes of civil commitment and involuntary treatment, and evaluate individuals presenting in the forensic context for issues ranging from criminal responsibility and competency to stand trial to civil cases involving personal injury, fitness for duty, and other medicolegal questions.
Fellows are also strongly encouraged to participate in the preparation and presentation of scholarly or scientific research during the course of the year.