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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic psychiatry is a subspecialty within psychiatry that deals with the interface of mental health issues and the law. This includes matters of civil, criminal and administrative law as well as evaluation and specialized treatment of individuals involved with the legal system at a variety of levels, including those incarcerated in jails, prisons and forensic psychiatric hospitals. This specialty is formally recognized by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, which offers added qualifications and board certification in this field.

The one-year, full-time, ACGME-accredited Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program offers training in the area of law and psychiatry and is designed to develop proficiency in all aspects of forensic psychiatric practice, including didactic study and supervised clinical experiences. The goal of the program is to enable forensic fellow(s) to understand and effectively interface with the legal system and to provide ethical, quality and timely professional expert services in a wide variety of civil and criminal forensic evaluations.


Qualified applicants must have satisfactorily completed an ACGME-accredited general psychiatry residency program in the United States or a general psychiatry program in Canada, which is accredited by the RCPSC.

The ACGME Review Committee for Psychiatry does not allow exceptions to the eligibility requirements for fellowship programs.


To apply, complete and return the original application (PDF) with the required documentation listed on the first page of the application form, including the following:

  • Personal statement
  • Copy of state medical license
  • Copy of USMLE scores (Step 1, Step 2 CS, CK and Step 3)
  • Copy of ECFMG certificate, if applicable
  • NPI number
  • Three letters of recommendation, including a required letter from your current/former program (can be emailed)
  • Medical school transcript with the MSPE letter, which must be sent directly from the medical school
  • Samples of two written reports

The completed application and documents can be emailed and/or sent to us at the address below and will be forwarded to the program director.

Sandra Downey, Program Coordinator
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
446 E. Ontario, Suite 7-200
Chicago, IL 60611

You can contact Sandra by email at or 312-695-5800.


The didactic seminars provide training in civil, criminal, clinical, consultative and correctional forensic psychiatry. Lectures target landmark cases, forensic evaluations, report writing, court testimony and treatment in correctional settings. The forensic teaching staff consists of forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, attorneys and law enforcement personnel. Teaching activities involve case consultation, peer review and didactic seminars.

The program is designed to facilitate the forensic fellow’s successful completion of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology’s board examination for the Added Qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry.  Graduating fellows will be skilled in working in a variety of forensic settings and in interfacing with attorneys and courts.


  • Division of Forensic Psychiatry, Northwestern Medical Group
  • Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic
  • Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
  • Stateville Correctional Center
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Mental Health Court Clinic

Contact Us


For more information, contact Sandra Downey at 312-695-5800.

Program Director

Cara Angelotta
Cara Angelotta, MD

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