Fellows become leaders in psychiatry and engage in public and private forensic psychiatry, forensically-informed clinical practice, research, education, and public policy.
Expert Training at the Intersection of Psychiatry, Law, Ethics, and Policy
Brown Psychiatry and Human Behavior's Forensic Psychiatry fellowship, which accepts three fellows per year, emphasizes direct collaboration with our faculty, who are recognized nationally for their leadership in the field.
The Brown University forensic faculty members:
represent nationally recognized leaders in their respective fields and professional organizations
conduct evaluations related to a wide range of forensic assessments in both the civil and criminal arenas
provide forensic psychiatry/psychology consultation nationally to attorneys, judges, and relevant systems in a number of expert areas
The Forensic Psychiatry program is undergoing significant growth in its diversity and relationships with institutions throughout the state of Rhode Island and beyond. Brown’s blend of government and private university academic training provides broad experiences in criminal law, public sector forensics, private practice forensics, correctional psychiatry, and research/scholarship.
Barry W. Wall, M.D. is a clinical and forensic psychiatrist in Rhode Island. He completed his adult residency training at Brown University and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of Massachusetts. He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and is the Forensic Fellowship Program Director at Brown. As a clinical psychiatrist, he is a psychopharmacologist and conducts psychotherapy with most of his patients. As a forensic psychiatrist, he is Director of the Forensic Service of the Eleanor Slater Hospital, within the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals, helping lawyers and judges understand psychiatric issues in legal settings. He teaches medical students, psychiatry residents and fellows, and psychology masters and Ph.D. candidates. Dr. Wall is a Distinguished Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is a Past President of the Rhode Island Medical Society as well as the Rhode Island Psychiatric Society. He has published articles primarily relating to competence to stand trial, Intellectual Disability Disorder, and work-related disability.
Dr. Lee received her MD from Texas A&M University and completed the fourt years of adult psychiatry training at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt, where she served as chief resident. She then completed the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Brown, and she worked at Bradley Hospital on both the child and adolescent units before completing the forensic psychiatry fellowship.
Dr. Lee is the current Assistant Director of the Forensic Service at Eleanor Slater Hospital, where she conducts forensic evaluations including risk assessments and competency to stand trial evaluations. She is also the current Assistant Program Director for the Brown Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, where she works closely with forensic psychiatry fellows, general psychiatry residents, and also medical students. Dr. Lee also provides treatment to both adults and juveniles who are incarcerated, in addition to having a small private practice.
Dr. Myers is a Professor and Chief of Forensic Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He also is the Medical Director for Newport Mental Health. Formerly, he was a Professor and Chief of the Divisions of Forensic Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of South Florida Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. He received his medical degree from Temple University. His training after a general psychiatry residency included fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry, and he is board-certified in all three of these specialties. Dr. Myers has been licensed to practice medicine in the state of Florida since 1984 and in Rhode Island since 2009.
He is the author of over 100 scientific publications and the book Juvenile Sexual Homicide. His primary research interests are in juvenile and adult homicide, sexual homicide, and malingering by homicide defendants. Additionally, he is the developer of the SADSEX-SH-R, a homicide crime scene rating scale that assesses for the presence of sexual sadism in offenders, and he is currently working on a structured professional judgment instrument for the assessment of criminal responsibility in homicide defendants.
Dr. Recupero attended Boston College Law School, receiving her degree in 1973. After a few years practicing law and driven by her desire to help people, she enrolled at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. When one of her courses took her to Butler Hospital, she realized psychiatry would be her chosen field. After completing her psychiatric residency at Butler, she continued there working in direct patient psychiatry care and subsequently at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston, where she became versed in managed care and Medicare administrative procedures.
In 1999, Dr. Recupero was named President and CEO of Butler Hospital, retiring in 2015. Under her leadership, Butler Hospital’s research programs in mental health and brain technology flourished, gaining it national prominence in many areas. The first woman president of Butler Hospital and the second woman President of the American Academy of Law and Psychiatry, Dr. Recupero also worked closely with the Rhode Island legislature to promote fair and enlightened treatment for those with mental health issues. She helped spearhead parity legislation in Rhode Island that expanded the type of serious mental illnesses covered by insurance plans.
Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Our fellows engage in a broad didactic curriculum. Forensic seminars are held a half-day per week during protected hours. Monthly “Think Tank” meetings encourage forensic research and scholarship. Fellows audit a one-semester course in Law and Mental Health at the Roger Williams University School of Law. We hold an annual mock trial, as well as a review of Board of Medical Licensure & Discipline forensic case material. Fellows routinely testify at Mental Health Court, and when called to criminal or civil court matters.
Weekly didactic topics are broken down into five main areas. We include examples of seminars within these topics here:
Forensic Psychiatry Boot Camp: this includes a review of Competence to Stand Trial, Violence Risk Assessment, Malingering, and the Insanity Defense
Introduction to Forensic Psychiatry: this includes the History of Forensic Psychiatry, Private Practice Forensic Consultation, Sources of Law, and How to Use a Law Library
The Legal System, Testimony & Evidence: this includes the basics of Criminal and Civil Procedure, Forensic Psychometric Testing, and Tort & Personal Injury Litigation
Child & Adolescent Forensic Mental Health: this includes The Juvenile Justice System, Special Education Law, Treatment of Juveniles who Sexually Offend, and Child Custody Evaluations
Civil & Criminal Law: this includes Malpractice, Civil Commitment, more on the Insanity Defense, and Fundamentals of Court Testimony & Depositions
Rotations and Training Sites
Fellows work on private practice cases through the Rhode Island Hospital Forensic Psychiatry Clinic an average of one day per week. Fellows conduct adult public-sector forensic evaluations through the Eleanor Slater Hospital Forensic Service an average of two days per week. The correctional psychiatry experience is limited to three hours per week in a jail clinic, and three hours per week in a prison clinic. The Rhode Island Training School provides juvenile forensic experiences a half day per week.
Service + RISPH)
Service + RISPH)
BHDDH or ACI*
Service + RISPH)
RITS or BHDDH**
BHDDH or RITS or Hope Clinic***
BHDDH or ACI*
* Fellows complete a 4-month rotation at BHDDH and two 4-month rotations at ACI.
** Fellows complete a 4-month rotation at RITS and two 4-month rotations at BHDDH.
*** Fellows complete a 4-month rotation at each site.
Lifespan is a comprehensive, integrated hospital system affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It is composed of several partner hospitals, the largest of which being Rhode Island Hospital (RIH). The RIH Forensic Evaluation Clinic is a key training site for the Brown Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. Over the 12 months of training, the fellows spend 8 hours weekly at the RIH Forensic Evaluation Clinic participating in the evaluation of civil and criminal forensic outpatient cases referred by a multitude of sources such as public defender offices, state attorney offices, law firms, private attorneys, and state agencies (DCYF, schools). An average case load for a fellow will consist of one to two new cases monthly. This evaluation case load by necessity is limited because any given case may involve many hours of activity. The fellow’s responsibilities will include communication with referral sources, review of case records, participation in psychiatric evaluations supervised by faculty, writing of forensic reports, and giving testimony on occasion, under faculty supervision. Case assignments are monitored to ensure a balanced breadth and variety of forensic experiences (e.g., competence to stand trial, legal insanity, personal injury, pediatric focused issues, and standard of care). Fellows will receive several hours of weekly supervision by Wade Myers, M.D., RIH site director.
The Hasbro Outpatient Psychiatric Evaluations for Justice-involved and At-risk Youth, or “HOPE for Justice” Clinic, is an outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry clinic providing services to patients involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Referral sources include Family Court, DCYF caseworkers, residential/correctional transitions and a range of hospital-based clinics (e.g. Hasbro’s “Aubin Center” Child Abuse Pediatrics Clinic and “Fostering Health” Foster Care Primary Care Clinic). In addition, the Clinic contracts with several different programs working with adolescents involved in the juvenile legal system, including Ocean Tides (a residential treatment program for adolescent boys with legal involvement as well as a therapeutic school) and Tides Family Services “Youth Transition Center” team (a community-based organization with a team of outreach and tracking staff providing intensive services to adolescents on probation). Fellows provide clinical services with a correctional/forensic component with a primary goal of learning about the system of care and understanding clinical needs for patients and families involved with RI DCYF, the RI Training School, and Juvenile Probation, also at times incorporating elements of risk assessment and forensic consultation to clinical services through second opinion evaluations. The HOPE clinic is supervised by Elizabeth Lowenhaupt, M.D.
Adults under correctional supervision within the State of Rhode Island fall within the jurisdiction of the state’s Department of Corrections (RIDOC). RIDOC’s facilities are known collectively as the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI). The ACI is the primary site for the fellowship’s training experience in correctional psychiatry. Fellows rotate at the ACI to provide psychiatric care to incarcerated individuals (a jail clinic and a prison clinic). Dr. Christopher Matkovic is the Site Director for the fellows’ ACI training experience and provides the lead on the trainees’ correctional education and supervision. Fellows will receive 1 hour of weekly supervision by Dr. Matkovic, and this time is also used for didactic discussion of assigned correctional topics and landmark cases.
The Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) is responsible for conducting statutory forensic evaluations and providing care and treatment to forensic inpatients. Fellows spend 20 hours per week conducting Competence to Stand Trial evaluations and Risk Assessments, and providing longitudinal care of forensic inpatients at the Rhode Island State Psychiatric Hospital. All forensic evaluations are conducted under the supervision of Dr. Barry Wall, BHDDH Forensic Service Director and Fellowship Program Director, as well as Dr. Ruby Lee, BHDDH Forensic Service Associate Director and Fellowship Associate Program Director.
The Rhode Island Training School (RITS) is a secure correctional program for male and female youth who are detained and /or sentenced to the facility by order of the Rhode Island Family Court. The RITS provides for the rehabilitation of youth through a comprehensive continuum of services. Faculty consists of one full-time triple-boarded psychiatrist, one part-time forensic child psychiatrist, and one part-time forensic child psychologist. All treatment team personnel will have interactions with the fellow on this rotation and will contribute to the fellow’s learning experience. Staff include both RIH and state-employed social workers who have extensive experience and training in working with justice-involved youth, substance abusing youth, and youth who have sexually offended or have been victims of childhood trauma. Fellows will attend case conferences, some staff meetings, and some Family Court appearances by their patients depending on educational and clinical value. Faculty are on-site and available for consultation. All fellows will have one hour of individual supervision weekly by Elizabeth Lowenhaupt, M.D., the site director, or another faculty member.
Roger Williams University (RWU) is a private university in Bristol, Rhode Island. Its law school is the only law school in Rhode Island. Fellows will audit and participate in a law school course on Mental Health & The Law. The course is taught by Judge Steven Erickson and a psychiatrist on the Brown forensic faculty attends each lecture to assist and provide the mental health perspective of the course. Topics include Psychiatric Malpractice, Civil Commitment, Sexual Offender Involuntary Confinement, Civil & Criminal Competencies, Informed Consent, Criminal responsibility, Competency to be executed, Criminal Justice Response to the Mentally Ill, and Juvenile Issues. This course also is the setting for one of the Mock Trials for the forensic fellows.
Dr. Shayna Popkin grew up playing sports and loving science in Montgomery County, Maryland. She pursued her undergraduate studies in Molecular Cell Physiology at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She obtained her Medical Degree from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado. She completed her Psychiatry Residency Training as Chief Resident at The George Washington University in Washington DC. She found her passion in the science of neurobiology mixed with the complexity and unique qualities of each human being. Growing up in a family of law enforcement, she developed a profound interest in the intersection of mental health, law, ethics, public policy, and humanities. These interests lead her towards Forensic Psychiatry, where scientific expertise merges with the complexities of the human condition.
Personal statement of one single-spaced page or less that explains your interest and/or experience in forensic psychiatry
At least one 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
Email all core materials to Natasha Ethier, Program Coordinator. The subject line of your email should be: Forensic Fellowship Application [APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME].
Letters of Reference and Dean’s Letter
Please submit three 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.
In addition, please submit a Dean’s Letter with an official medical school transcript.
Interview invitations will be sent upon receipt of your completed application. Interviews will be scheduled in compliance with AAPL guidelines.
We strive to be transparent about our procedures and encourage applicants to email us with any questions.
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