We are excited to offer educational opportunities in Forensic Psychiatry! While all rotations will be individualized according to your particular interests and learning goals, here are some examples of the unique learning opportunities within the Division of Forensic Psychiatry, Western University. Some highlights include:
- Observing and performing court-ordered psychiatric assessments (e.g., Fitness to Stand Trial, Criminal Responsibility, Dangerousness, Ontario Review Board Disposition Recommendations). This experience would teach you unique interview skills and techniques. You would have interviews observed by forensic psychiatrists and receive detailed feedback. You will receive teaching on report writing skills (general and forensic) and your reports to the Courts or Ontario Review Board will be reviewed in order to improve your skills and subsequent reports.
- Watching experienced forensic psychiatrists provide expert psychiatric testimony in Court or to boards (e.g., Consent and Capacity Board, Ontario Review Board). Importantly, you will receive teaching on how to provide effective expert psychiatric testimony, and you will have the opportunity to provide such testimony and get detailed feedback on your testimony.
- Providing treatment and rehabilitation to clients on our various in-patients units. These units differ in security level, however, all adopt a recovery-oriented treatment philosophy that maximizes client choice, emphasizes client strengths, and assists people in reaching their individual goals. You will have the unique opportunity to see this recovery approach implemented in a forensic mental health setting - where the competing interests of client autonomy and public, staff, and client safety must be considered and balanced. You will follow clients who have severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) over time, get to help individualize treatment plans and, most importantly, get to help some of the most vulnerable, marginalized, and stigmatized people in our society.
- Travelling with our Forensic Outreach Team members to provide support and treatment to our community clients. This experience provides a unique opportunity to see clients in their home and community environments and to work with SPMI clients who have successfully transitioned back into the community.
- Attending weekly half-day structured teaching by faculty in the various areas of forensic psychiatry. This teaching is specifically tailored for medical students and residents. A particular highlight of this teaching is by the faculty's use of didactics as well as interactive techniques, case-based examples, and supplementary reading materials to consolidate learning.
- Partipating in forensic consultant work and private cases.
- For those interested, participating in a research project within the Forensic Division.
- Learning evidence-based practice by attending our monthly Forensic Mental Health Journal Club or Forensic Case Presentation.
As mentioned previously, we can customize educational experiences of varying duration depending on your specific interests, education goals, and the level of your training. For residents, this educational experience will fulfill the mandatory rotational requirements in SPMI.
In summary, this educational opportunity is excellent for people who have an already established interest in forensic psychiatry, for those who are contemplating whether they are interested in forensic psychiatry, for those who want an opportunity to treat and follow people who have SPMI and, most importantly, for those who are seeking an exceptional learning opportunity.