Skip to main content
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Skip to main content

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.


Applications for the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship are made by residents who have completed or are in the process of completing the third year of general psychiatry residency training. We accept applications beginning January 1 of each academic year until our program has filled. We encourage applicants to apply early in the application cycle because admission selections are made on a rolling basis. Interviews begin April 1. In keeping with the Common Application process, no applicant will be asked to accept or decline a spot prior to May 1. 

Northwestern accepts the Common Application available at To apply, complete and return the following required documentation:

  • Common Application Form
  • Photo
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement of one single-spaced page or less that explains your interest and/or experience in forensic psychiatry
  • At least one additional writing sample (e.g., de-identified forensic report or psychiatric evaluation, published manuscript of which you are the first author)
  • Copy of medical school diploma
  • Copy of ECFMG certificate (if applicable)
  • Copy of current medical license(s)
  • Copy of USMLE/COMLEX scores
  • 3 letters of reference, one of which must be from your current program director or, if you have completed training within the past five years, the director of the program from which you graduated most recently. Letters should be sent from the letter-writer directly to Northwestern.
  • Official copy of medical school transcript and dean’s (MSPE) letter sent directly to Northwestern from the medical school

The application and documents should be emailed to the program coordinator, Sandra Downey ( ). Completed applications will be forwarded to the program director, Cara Angelotta MD.

For more information, please contact:

Cara Angelotta, M.D.
Director, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry


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

Back to top

Follow Psychiatry on