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Forensic Psychiatry Residency Program

Didactic Program

Mastery of forensic psychiatry requires immersion in a knowledge base and a style of thinking that are foreign to most clinicians. Didactics are therefore given a high priority, and assigned a full day each week at the Center, along with sequences at the Scott Correctional Facility and at the University of Michigan Law School.

Legal Aspects of Forensic Psychiatry (Core Curriculum I)

Professor Guyer reviews major legal systems and principles of law critical for the practice of forensic psychiatry. The Landmark Cases of forensic psychiatry provide source material for the study of the underpinnings of criminal and civil law, including criminal responsibility, pre-and post-adjudication disposition of defendants, criminal procedure, evidence, personal injury/malpractice, patient and prisoner rights, family law, disability law, and expert testimony, as practiced in federal and state courts. The cases presented also provide a thorough introduction to legal principles that enable the forensic resident to understand the legal literature and appreciate the significance of developing case law.

Clinical Aspects of Forensic Psychiatry (Core Curriculum II)

Faculty lead discussions on all aspects of forensic psychiatry, emphasizing a practitioner’s perspective. The traditional subject matter of law and psychiatry is covered, including many of the topics addressed in Professor Guyer’s course, but here the emphasis is less on the underlying principles and more on their practical application. Clinical topics in forensic psychiatry include seminars on conducting forensic assessments and writing forensic reports; serving as an expert witness; rendering forensic consultation to mental health practitioners; risk assessment in forensic and civil populations; malingering; assessment techniques (e.g., hypnosis, polygraphy, amobarbital interview, plethysmography); special populations and behavior (antisocial personality, psychopathy, sexual offenders); and treatment approaches employed in forensic settings.

University of Michigan Law School

Trainees may elect to take courses in criminal law, mental health law, child mental health or other subjects at the University of Michigan Law School.

Continuing Medical Education Psychiatry Seminar
(Friday Conference)

Visiting speakers, Center Staff, and University of Michigan faculty present selected topics in general and forensic psychiatry, varying from year to year, but emphasizing newly developing knowledge and treatments.

Correctional Psychiatry Seminar

This course is held at the Scott Prison as an integral part of the clinical rotation in correctional psychiatry. Topics include the following: roles and ethical problems in correctional mental health; legal regulation of psychiatric care in prisons; landmark cases in correctional psychiatry; prisons; epidemiology and causes of crime and criminality; classification/nosology of crime; sex offenders; sexual homicide, serial killers; and mass murderers; mental illness and criminality/violence; mentally ill prisoners; common syndromes in prison populations (psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder; malingering; somatization; self-injury and suicide; substance abuse in prisons; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; post-traumatic stress and acute stress disorders; psychoses associated with isolation/segregation); risk appraisal and dangerousness; death row and executions; juvenile delinquency and young offenders; use of testing and formal quantitative instruments in assessment of psychopathology and risk (PCL-R; HCR-20; VRAG; ASSESS-LIST; MMPI-II, etc.)