Forensic psychiatrists work with criminal justice agencies, the police, probation services, courts and prisons.
Forensic psychiatry involves assessing and treating offenders with mental disorders who may present a risk to the public.
What do forensic psychiatrists do?
- Help patients to understand and reduce their risk.
- help patients to understand their illness and the impact of their action on victims
- help patients with anger control and stress management
- address problems of substance misuse
- devise relapse prevention plans
- support patients with rehabilitation back into society
- support carers, family and friends.
- Liaise with general psychiatry services and criminal justice agencies.
- Provide expert opinion to courts
How to become a forensic psychiatrist?
You will need to study medicine initially. On completion of your medical degree you would undertake two-year’s of foundation training in hospitals and general practice, then a further 3 years of specialist training in psychiatry, after which you would choose to specialise in forensic psychiatry (alternatives would be learning disabilities psychiatry or old age psychiatry) which would involve a further three years of specialist training after which you would be eligible to apply for a consultant post.
Essential study if you want to be a forensic psychiatrist
You must study, as a minimum, chemistry and either maths or physics if you want to study medicine. This is a minimum however. If you want to keep all medical schools open to you rather than limit your choices to a few then you should study A-levels in chemistry, biology and either maths or physics.
What about GCSEs?
Some schools and colleges will only accept you onto science A-levels if you have studied triple science at GCSE level because the double award does not have sufficient depth of content.
So, if a career as a forensic psychiatrist appeals to you, make sure you make the correct subject choices at A-level and get ready for lots of hard work.