Jack Napier

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2010
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Attending Physician
Hello all,

I will be completing a child fellowship starting next July, 2014, but also find the field of forensics to be very interesting (currently doing a forensics clinic during PG3 and really enjoy it). I thought about doing a forensics fellowship after I finish child, and then split my time between child clinical work and child forensics (maybe 3/4 clinical, the rest in forensics). I'm not sure if the opportunity cost (1 year attending salary plus interest accrued on loans) would be worth the extra year of training. I'm skeptical that the extra training would add much to my earning potential, but could be wrong. I'm not really focused on the money, but rather enjoy working with kids and the intellectual aspects of forensics (so I wondered if I could have my cake and eat it too). However, I do have student loans and a family so the lost earnings are a consideration. Ultimately, I would probably end up working in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and wonder if there would even be a market for child forensics. I would appreciate any insights.
 

Shikima

10+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2006
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Have to look at what your current income is like, current debt load and potential for earnings would be like. Have a discussion with your family recognizing that it is only 1 year. Also be sure to seek out opportunities which will deliver significant student loan repayment.

That said, there is also an intrinsic value in completing fellowship - I would wager that you'd be in a small group of those C/A with Forensics and this has a lot of marketing potential to courts and other areas in the juvenile system.
I say enjoy the fantastic opportunity to grow intellectually, personally and professionally.
 

whopper

Former jolly good fellow
15+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2004
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It's hard to specify doing any forensic work in a structured manner unless it's for a state hospital.

The way forensic psychiatry often works, you have no cases for a few weeks, even months, then you have too many. It's feast or famine. Even top forensic psychiatrists have told me the same. Several institutions will not allow you time off due to your forensic case, so if you have to testify in court, it coudl come off of your vacation time.

So to think you'll be doing 1/4 forensic psychiatry is difficult to say if it'll happen.

There is a very specific niche where both forensic and child psychiatry become useful such as in interviewing children who are victims or witnesses to a crime, their competency to stand trial, and child custody cases.