The University of Minnesota Fellowship Training Program in Forensic Psychiatry is a 12-month full-time program that is focused on developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes leading to proficiency in the following domains:
- Provision of psychiatric expertise in legal matters
- Systems issues involved in mental health care delivery to forensic populations
- Legal regulation of psychiatric practice
The program is sponsored by the University of Minnesota with support from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
About the Program
Forensic psychiatry focuses on interrelationships between psychiatry and the law (civil, criminal, and administrative), including the psychiatric evaluation of individuals involved with the legal system, or consultations on behalf of the third parties such as employers or insurance companies; the specialized psychiatric treatment required by those who have been incarcerated in jails, prisons, or special forensic psychiatric hospitals; active involvement in the area of legal regulation of general psychiatric practice; and, related education and research efforts.
Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have satisfactorily completed either an ACGME-accredited general psychiatry program or a general psychiatry program in Canada accredited by the RCPSC.
Instructions to Applicants
The University of Minnesota Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program requires completion of your file before you will be interviewed. The following items are required to complete your file:
- Completed application form
- Personal Statement
- Current Curriculum Vitae
- Three (3) Letters of Recommendation from Residency Faculty and one (1) Letter of Recommendation from General Psychiatry Residency Program Director
- Official USMLE scores or certified copy of USMLE scores
- Copy of license from a state that requires passing of all USMLE Steps
- Copy of medical school diploma
- Official medical school transcript
- Dean's letter from your medical school (or verification letter from your medical school)
- Two (2) writing samples (preference for case write-ups or patient psych eval reports; journal articles authored/co-authored will be looked at, but prefer psych eval reports to review)
We request that any interested applicant arrange for a personal interview to familiarize him or herself with the atmosphere, facilities, and personnel at the University of Minnesota and affiliated hospitals. Please try to schedule your interview well in advance. To make an appointment or inquiry, contact our fellowship coordinator at 612-273-9848 or submit written materials to the following address.
Visa Sponsorship Policy
J-1 Visa - Alien Physician: The standard visa for residents/fellows who are not United States Citizens or permanent residents, issued by the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates.
J-2 Visa - Issued to the dependent of a J-1 visa holder.
H-1B Visa – may be considered on a case by case basis and is contingent on approval of funding for the same.
Applications Should Be Submitted To:
MN DHS Direct Care And Treatment- Forensic Division St. Peter
The State of Minnesota Department of Human Services administers multiple programs at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center including the Minnesota Security Hospital (the state's sole secure psychiatric facility), the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, the Forensic Nursing Home and a Transition to Community program. The Minnesota Security Hospital houses approximately 250 persons including insanity acquittees, individuals civilly committed as Mental Ill and Dangerous, and individuals admitted for Restoration to Competency.
In addition, the Forensic Network (a group of mental health evaluators) provides Forensic Evaluation Services to Courts in several counties in the state pertaining to issues related to Competence to Stand Trial, Criminal Responsibility, Risk Management in Sex Offenders, Risk Management in Violent Offenders, Transition of Care for Forensic Inpatients. At St. Peter Regional Treatment Center Fellows will rotate through each of these programs and will receive supervision on issues pertaining to the special forensic population housed at each of the programs.
University Of Minnesota Medical Center
The Division of Forensic Psychiatry is located within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. This will be the main site for fellow didactics and seminars. This will also be the site for the Law and Psychiatry Rotation. This is a year-long rotation wherein fellows will receive assignments from a myriad of referring agencies and courts including the Hennepin and Ramsey County Courts, Private Law Firms, the Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School and Others. Fellows will be under direct supervision of the Program Director at this site.
Fourth Judicial District Court, Psychological Services
The Psychological Services Division provides court-ordered forensic evaluations of adults involved in Criminal Court or Family Court custody/visitation cases and juveniles involved in delinquency cases. As part of the training program, fellows will have an opportunity to perform court-ordered forensic psychiatric examinations, submit reports to the court and offer testimony when required at the Fourth Judicial District Court.
Center For New Americans
The Center for New Americans was founded at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2013. Its mission is to expand urgently needed legal services for noncitizens, pursue litigation that will improve the nation's immigration laws, and educate noncitizens about their rights. One of the three clinics at the Center includes the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic that represents asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries. As part of their training, Forensic Psychiatry fellows will work in conjunction with student attorneys at this clinic and provide consultation on cases involving individuals who are seeking asylum and related forms of relief.
Didactics, Seminars & Conferences
Fellows will have protected time to attend scheduled didactics for 6 to 7 hours each week. A brief summary of the fellowship curriculum is provided below:
- Clinical Case Conference: This is a weekly conference. The focus of this conference will be the clinical practice of Forensic Psychiatry. Each week one fellow will present an ongoing case for a faculty and peer case discussion.
- Forensic Core Curriculum: This year-round lecture series will cover all the core topics in the theory and practice of forensic psychiatry. Fellows will be provided with a detailed schedule at the beginning of the training year.
- Landmark Cases Class: This will be a weekly class focused on Landmark cases in Mental Health Law. This will be taught by the Honorable Judge Jay Quam.
- Research and Scholarship Seminar: In this weekly seminar residents will develop skills to review medical and legal literature in forensic psychiatry, enhance their report writing skills, explore the theoretical and practical foundations of mental health law and contribute to literature in forensic psychiatry. All fellows will develop and execute research projects that will be presented towards the end of the training year. Fellows will be provided encouragement and support for publication of their research.
- Legal Digest Seminar: In this session fellows will familiarize themselves with new legal opinions from state courts and federal courts where issues pertaining to forensic psychiatry are the primary focus.
- Grand Rounds at the University of Minnesota: Faculty at the Department of Psychiatry organizes grand rounds on a weekly basis which are presented by prominent department faculty and guest speakers. This will be attended by the fellows on an elective basis.
- Didactics at the University of Minnesota Law School: The program has collaborated with the University of Minnesota Law School’s Centre for New Americans. As part of this collaboration, fellows will attend a select set of didactics and classes with law students that have relevance to forensic psychiatric evaluations in the immigration setting.
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
The program will provide funding to all fellows to attend the annual meeting of AAPL during their training year. This will cover travel, meals, accommodation and registration expenses.
Benjamin Otopalik, MD
Christine Prato, MD