The Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina is a 12-month accredited program that provides a diverse training experience in matters of psychiatry and the law. Our program is committed to educating fellows in forensic psychiatry and allowing them to cultivate their own individual interests while having support and guidance from our faculty, who have a wealth of expertise in the field.
Fellows have the opportunity to conduct a variety of criminal evaluations, including competency to stand trial evaluations and criminal responsibility evaluations for adult and juvenile populations. Additionally, fellows are exposed to a variety of civil forensic cases, including disability evaluations, fitness-for-duty evaluations, guardianship and conservatorship, parental fitness, child custody, gun rights restoration evaluations, and sexually violent predator evaluations.
Fellows also gain experience in the probate court serving as designated examiners for both mental health and chemical dependency judicial commitment hearings. They have the opportunity to provide consultative services for specific cases within the MUSC Department of Psychiatry, generally related to suicide and/or violence risk assessments for hospitalized patients. Clinical experiences occur primarily in the correctional setting, working with adults at the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) as well as youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
Unique to MUSC, a fellow's forensic training can be tailored to fit their personal interests. We also work closely with forensic psychologists and this interdisciplinary environment fosters a deeper understanding of the field. Forensic psychologists provide additional expertise on psychometric testing while also helping to supervise and teach the forensic psychiatry fellows. There is also a forensic psychology fellowship in our division and psychiatry and psychology fellows have specific opportunities to work and learn together.
Didactics include a weekly landmark case series and courses in the basics of law and psychiatry. Mock trials and office case conferences are utilized to prepare fellows to present testimony in court. As a part of the academic component of the program, fellows complete a quality improvement project under the direction of the program director. Fellows also present during grand rounds each year and this is historically one of the most popular talks in the department. Additional benefits include a funded trip to the Annual Meeting of AAPL as well as attendance at the Forensic Psychiatry Review Course. And of course, living in Charleston, South Carolina for the year is a special perk, with beaches, wonderful culinary experiences, and a variety of interests in our beautiful historic city. Please feel free to reach out to us directly with any questions!