The UCLA forensic psychiatry fellowship program emphasizes educational value over service and will prepare fellows not only for forensic practice but also to become leaders in academic and organizational forensic psychiatry. Fellows will become proficient in the roles of expert witness, forensic consultant in and out of the courtroom, informed advocate for public policies that affect the regulation and practice of psychiatry and forensic psychiatry.
UCLA has unusual breadth to our high quality faculty (including four past AAPL Presidents) many of whom have national and international reputations and have been involved in high profile cases. There will be an emphasis on learning how to do strong forensic assessments, reports, and testimony. There will be seminars on all aspects of forensic psychiatry including a special forensic ethics curriculum that will equip fellows with frameworks to resolve ethics dilemmas in the field. Additionally, the fellows have a Landmark Case Seminar in a consortium with Hastings Law School and UCSF Forensic Psychiatry. They have special forensic case seminars with faculty that delve deeply into criminal and civil cases.
The forensic fellows receive their clinical training in a wide variety of forensic settings. These rotations include the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Greater Los Angeles (GLA) VA Healthcare System, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Expert Witness Panel, the Sonoma County Court, as well as being supervised by faculty on private criminal and civil forensic cases. Forensic fellows will have unique opportunities to work at UCLA Law School
During their LA County DMH rotation, fellows learn unique approaches to treating special correctional patient populations in the Men’s Reintegration Clinic, to liaising with judges, attorneys, and other stakeholders in the LA County Mental Health Court, to opining on Felony Mental Health Diversion and other special forensic evaluations (including juvenile) for the County. At the VA, fellows perform psychiatric disability evaluations for service connected disabilities. As members of the GLA VA Disruptive Behavior and Ethics Committee, fellows learn and perform specialized violence risk and ethics assessments that the implement in their consultative role. Fellows virtually perform competency to stand trial evaluations for Sonoma County where they have opportunities to testify including for Sell Hearings. The fellowship is on the Los Angeles County Superior Court Approved Panel of Expert Witness Psychiatrists and perform criminal forensic evaluations on issues of insanity defense, diminished responsibility, sentencing considerations, diversion, among other.
Fellows will be guided in completing scholarly project(s) with a faculty member mentor. The aim is to produce one or more presentations for national professional meetings and/or publications. Fellows receive guidance on how to teach residents on forensic topics in addition to instruction on how to effectively present forensic material to various audiences (e.g., other psychiatrists, legal professionals, laypersons).
Fellows receive a $2,000 educational stipend towards the AAPL annual meeting and board review course; they are encouraged to attend other professional meetings with protected time when they are presenting or play a role in the organization. All fellows receive the Rosner and Scott Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry textbook.