Forensic Psychiatry

Subspecialty Residency Program
Yuri Alatishe

Message from Program Director, Yuri Alatishe

The Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program at McMaster University occupies the intersection of psychiatry and the law, offering career opportunities in a fascinating and challenging field. This training program, developed here at McMaster, strives to deliver a comprehensive and innovative training experience that will exceed requirements and provide residents with the skills and knowledge necessary to become competent forensic psychiatrists.

Our residents train in a state-of-the-art facility with over 120 beds dedicated to forensic psychiatry. We have an assessment unit, four rehabilitation units, an acute stabilization unit for correctional inmates and a multidisciplinary outpatient program, which provide a diverse and rich training experience for the subspecialty resident. However, the greatest strength of our program is undoubtedly the people within it. The faculty is comprised of a diverse group of forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers and judges who are enthusiastic about teaching.

Overview

Program Overview
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The Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program is located at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th Campus. This is an active, multidisciplinary group, led by Yuri Alatishe, program director. Division members provide expert training in forensic psychiatry to learners at various stages of their medical careers, including medical students, general psychiatry residents, and subspecialty residents. The program has been accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for its ability to provide the clinical and teaching experiences required to meet the Royal College standard in the discipline of Forensic Psychiatry. The strength of the program is based upon the active participation of a broad range of faculty including psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, and judges. Residents will train in a state-of-the-art hospital. The main site includes over 120 forensic beds, which spread across an assessment unit, four rehabilitation units and an acute stabilization unit for correctional inmates who are psychiatrically acutely unwell.

Residents will have exposure in assessing and managing outpatients. We have a forensic outpatient program which manages criminal review board patients who are living in the community. The program also runs a sexual behaviours clinic and an aggression clinic to provide focused and specialized assessments. Residents will also have the opportunity to experience training in Ontario’s only high secure forensic mental health program, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

Hamilton is a waterfront city known for its diverse urban life supported by many restaurants, museums, and galleries. As part of the forested Niagara Escarpment, city residents enjoy access to parks, conservation areas, waterfalls, and the Bruce Trail.

Certification Outcome
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After successful completion of the forensic psychiatry program and Royal College examination, individuals will receive a certificate of completion from McMaster’s Postgraduate Medical Education office and Royal College certification in forensic psychiatry.

Entry Requirements 
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Residents in their PGY-5 year must complete the PGME application form​, along with the following supportive documents.

  • Updated CV
  • Letter of intent 
  • Letter of good standing from current residency program director 
  • Three reference letters with contact information
  • Medical school transcript
Application Deadline
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The application deadline is September 2022.

Postgraduate Medical Education
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McMaster Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) provides an environment where learners can develop the skills to become expert physicians and leaders in health care.

Education

Length of Training
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The Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program at McMaster University is a one-year program which is consistent with the Royal College requirements for this subspecialty.

Curriculum Highlights
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The Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program provides residents with formal interactive teaching during an academic half day, which is protected time for the residents. The curriculum is designed to meet Royal College standards but allows residents to pursue areas of interest. In addition to the formal teaching sessions, residents attend Lunch and Learn talks, participate in a mock criminal review board hearing and a mock court trial. Our program has also developed a mock exam to help prepare the residents for the Royal College certification exam.

In addition to their clinical experience with inpatients and outpatients, residents will participate in a variety of other forensic clinical opportunities including forensic assessments (risk, fitness to stand trial, criminal responsibility), criminal review board hearings, consent and capacity hearings, as well as assessment and management of individuals within the correctional setting. There are also opportunities to participate in more specialized assessments, such as dangerous/long-term offenders and sexological assessments.

Residents are encouraged to participate in tribunals, criminal and civil courtroom cases and testify. The Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program also has a long-established relationship with key stakeholders and has monthly meetings with senior representatives from the office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, the correction system, probation/parole, and police services. This is designed to ensure coordination of services for this population. The group has been very successful in developing processes and programs that enhance quality of services for populations served by the forensic psychiatry faculty, staff and learners.

Clinical

Overview
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Our residents train in a state-of-the-art facility with over 120 beds dedicated to forensic psychiatry. We have an assessment unit, four rehabilitation units, an acute stabilization unit for correctional inmates and a multidisciplinary outpatient program.

Hospital Sites
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  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th Campus
  • Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Penetanguishene

Research

Overview
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Research is not a requirement for this program, but it is highly supported. The forensic service has an active research group with a number of postgraduate and other students in the group with an array of ongoing research activities.

Contact Us

We invite you to learn more about the Forensic Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program and the opportunities that are available at McMaster University. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

alatishe-yuri

Yuri Alatishe

Program, Director, Forensic Subspecialty Program

yalatish@stjoes.ca

Placeholder portrait image for Maria Benoit

Maria Benoit

Subspecialty Program & Clinical Fellow Coordinator

mbenoit@mcmaster.ca

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