The Benefits of Required Forensic Clinical Experiences in Residency.


Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The growth of forensic psychiatry has spurred efforts to improve forensic psychiatry training in general psychiatry residency. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that residencies provide an experience that "exposes" residents to forensic issues, but leaves the specifics to individual programs. However, there is growing need for psychiatrists to understand the unique circumstances of individuals with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system.
METHODS : The authors developed a new mandatory forensic rotation for general psychiatry residents and conducted a pilot study to assess its impact on residents' interest and comfort working with criminal justice-involved patients, interest in forensic fellowship, and knowledge of available resources for consultation and supervision.
RESULTS : Rotation completion was associated with a significantly increased interest in working with forensic populations and pursuing forensic fellowship, but no changes in residents' level of comfort or knowledge of supervisory and consultative resources.
CONCLUSIONS : This study adds to the growing body of literature describing the benefits of expanding forensic education for residents.


Educational research,Forensic psychiatry,Medical education,

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