Variations in Application Instructions for Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships

  • Nathaniel P. MorrisEmail author
  • Matthew E. Hirschtritt
  • Matthew L. Edwards
In Brief Report



In this study, the authors examined the consistency and the transparency of application instructions for forensic psychiatry fellowships in the USA.


The authors collected the names of US forensic psychiatry fellowships listed in the Directory of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships maintained by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Using data from active fellowship websites, the authors extracted for each program: (1) timelines for applications and interviews, (2) whether an application form was supplied, and (3) the presence of specific application requirements (e.g., curriculum vitae, personal statement, letters of recommendation, residency training director evaluations, writing samples).


Among 45 fellowship websites, 31 (68.9%) did not provide specific dates or months when their application cycle opened, nor did they indicate whether they accepted applications on a rolling basis. Fourteen (31.1%) did not have an application form, and 8 (17.8%) did not list application requirements. Among 37 programs that listed specific requirements on their websites, 36 (97.3%) required a curriculum vitae or letters of recommendation, 35 (94.6%) required a personal statement and/or letter of interest, and 27 (73.0%) required writing samples and/or evaluation materials from residency program directors.


This study found considerable variations among online application instructions for US forensic psychiatry fellowships. Although many factors shape recruitment into forensic psychiatry fellowships, improving the consistency and the transparency of application instructions might decrease stress related to the application cycle and streamline recruitment into the field.


Fellowships and scholarships Forensic psychiatry Internet Education, medical, graduate Health workforce 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article did not involve research with human participants and, as a result, was not submitted to an institutional review board for approval.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel P. Morris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew E. Hirschtritt
    • 2
  • Matthew L. Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.University of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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