Forensics

PGY-1 residents’ forensics rotations occur at two sites: Manhattan Psychiatric Center and Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center

Manhattan Psychiatric Center

At the Manhattan Psychiatric Center (MPC), residents have the unique opportunity to participate in the Service for the Abatement of Interpersonal Risk (STAIR) program, an intensive psychiatric rehabilitation program based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. Created specifically for forensic .patients with a history of interpersonal violence and a high rate of recidivism, the STAIR program provides a structured environment in which patients attend daily classes on topics such as anger management, problem solving, and adaptive behavior.

Residents working at MPC are able to observe, assist in, or run some of these classes. In fact, they receive strong encouragement to be as creative as possible in leading the cognitive skills groups. Additionally, residents provide individualized care to patients at varying levels of the STAIR program, including medication management and one-on-one therapy. The didactic experience at MPC also involves learning about a number of neuropsychological testing and therapeutic techniques, including the Rorschach test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test, and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence scales. At MPC, residents are not just doctors, but also teachers, group leaders, evaluators, neuropsychologists, and cognitive therapists, working in a unique, long-term rehabilitative treatment setting that is specific to forensic psychiatry.

Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center

Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center is a maximum-security hospital of the New York State Office of Mental Health. The PGY-1 rotation at Kirby offers residents an opportunity to work with different forensic populations:

  • Individuals charged with serious crimes who have been found unfit to stand trial as a result of mental illness
  • Inmates transferred from jail or prison who have become mentally ill while serving their sentences
  • Patients who have never been charged with criminality but are felt to be too dangerous or unmanageable to be housed in less restrictive state psychiatric hospitals

Residents spend approximately half of their time on a short-term unit where patients are treated with the goal of rendering them fit to stand trial or to return to the prison population. The remainder of the resident’s time is spent conducting preliminary fitness examinations of patients, to evaluate whether patients are fit to stand trial.

Residents attend hearings at which the forensic committee determines whether patients who have been found not guilty because of mental illness are fit to return to the community. Court proceedings occur at the Kirby facility on a weekly or biweekly basis. Each week, residents are also able to witness ECT. Residents are generally given as much responsibility for patient care as they wish, enabling the motivated resident to play an active role in virtually every aspect of the forensic process, from admission through discharge. In addition, the faculty at Kirby is highly interested in teaching, and all residents leave with a basic understanding of psychiatric law and the role of psychiatrists in the legal system.


Contact Us

Tel: 212-659-8734

Icahn School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
Box 1230
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029