1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

making specialty choice based on fellowships

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by sunset823, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. sunset823

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    8
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Hello, I'm an M3 who is deciding between three different specialties, including IM and psych. In both cases, I 100% want to do a fellowship, in the case of psych it would be forensics, because I have a lot of interest in law and I think the types of cases would be really up my alley. However, I think this is a risky proposition - I looked at FREIDA and out of 41 forensic psych programs there are only 25 that I would actually apply to because the other ones are in cities I refuse to live in (mostly in the south, I can't stand heat).

    I would like general psych, but I feel I'd be a better e.g., hospitalist than general psychiatrist, but I'd do well in forensics. Is it an unwise move to choose a specialty based on your limited chances of getting a fellowship, especially when it is such a small one with few spots? Thanks.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. bronx43

    bronx43 Word.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    467
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Not that I'm an expert on this subject, but I don't think forensics is a competitive enough fellowship where you wouldn't be able to match at one of the 25 places.
     
  4. IAmAUser

    IAmAUser Member
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    .
     
    #3 IAmAUser, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  5. sunset823

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    8
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    haha, while the big bucks sound appealing, I'm actually interested in an academic career and would def still want to see patients, but forensic psych is the medical specialty that gels best with my previous academic career in political science/security studies (I'm an avid reader of Robert Lifton, and I've always had some interest in things like the psychology of terrorism or civil war, and yes, I watch way too many police procedural/law shows).
     
  6. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
    Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    11,648
    Likes Received:
    1,779
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I'm also very interested in forensics. In fairness, although few people work full-time doing forensic evals and testifying, if you include correctional psychiatry under the umbrella of forensics, there are many jobs out there.

    You're in demand as a consultant on courtroom cases because of your clinical ability and experience. That ability and expertise comes from having an applicable background that comes from working in a correctional, rehabilitative, or academic environment.

    But I'm just a resident. We have a couple of folks with beaucoup forensics experience on this forum that can chime in with attitudes of much more weight.
     
  7. sonofthesouth

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    he is right, the top forensic programs are generally very competitive but out of 25, you will easily be able to get one. even applicants who are not very competitive can apply to 10 programs and easily get a spot. I've never heard of anyone applying to more than 7 out of the 41 programs. btw, don't anticipate there being 41 programs when you get there. these things frequently die and are born. there could be 37 or 48 6 or 7 years from now when you'd be applying. but like IAmAUser said, most places prefer/require that you work at least 51% in clinical work (some jurisdictions even mandate it for expert witnesses). otherwise you lose serious street cred.

    in the end, the best advice i have is....

    do what you want!!! the world needs more good forensic psychiatrists but it could certainly also use some more good internists!
     
  8. TexasPhysician

    Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,447
    Likes Received:
    1,405
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Not that forensics is that competitive, but would you really not do a 1 year fellowship in the south to get into the fellowship of your dreams? Also forensics includes a strong understanding of general psych. If you don't love general psych, I'd really consider IM.
     
  9. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
    Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,820
    Likes Received:
    859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Agree with all of the above. Even Tom Gutheil still does clinical work. If you show a strong interest in forensics early and you're not a trainwreck of a resident, I'm sure you could get a forensics fellowship somewhere. There's only a handful of really competitive fellowships.
     

Share This Page