fpamed News

A Review of Statutes and the Role of the Forensic Psychiatrist in Cyberstalking Involving Youth

Adolescents are increasingly exposed to Internet-facilitated crime as they spend more time online. The mental health risks and legal consequences for youth involved in cyberstalking are growing areas of concern. The nature of online stalking presents several challenges regarding investigation, fair adjudication, fact-finding, and legislation. Laws governing online stalking behaviors inconsistently reference the age of a victim or perpetrator as a factor for consideration in case disposition. During adjudication, the forensic psychiatrist may be asked to evaluate the victim or perpetrator involved in cyberstalking. This article focuses on the current legal landscape governing cyberstalking behavior involving adolescents, the roles a forensic psychiatrist may assume in this context, and the opportunity to bring a developmental perspective to these cases. Paul Elizondo, DO, Dale E. McNiel, PhD, and Rene´e Binder, MD

Response of US psychiatric programs to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on trainees

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, trainees have experienced a variety of changes to trainee program policies and guidelines. Overall, poor communication and trainee dissatisfaction with departmental response correlated with concern of infection and anxiety/burnout. Insights garnered from this study could provide scaffolding for the best practices to reduce trainee physician anxiety/burnout for the […]

What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Answer in the Courtroom

Octavio Choi, MD, PhD presents for UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds series. Click title above or Read more link below to watch on YouTube.

Pharaohs, philosophers, and Freud—Tracing bias in modern correlates of hysteria.

‘Hysteria’ is a historical term that encompasses several modern-day neuropsychiatric conditions. The chronicle of this illness is fraught with prejudice from the time of its inception through subsequent adaptations. Relics of cultural misconceptions have been carried forward into contemporary correlates of the illness. The consequences of these follies in present-day are best understood through a […]

Do no harm in due process – a historical analysis of social determinates of institutionalization in the USA

Involuntary hospitalization has been a fundamental function of psychiatric care for mentally ill persons in the USA for centuries. Procedural and judicial practices of inpatient psychiatric treatment and civil commitment in the USA have served as a by-product of socio-political pressures that demanded constant reform throughout history. The origin of modern commitment laws can best […]

Sexual Abuse & PTSD – Multi-Plaintiff Litigation

Mark Levy, MD and Charles Saldanha, MD, provided a succinct and focused discussion on the topic of PTSD in mass sexual abuse cases.

Can neuroscience help us eradicate psychopathy?

Octavio Choi, MD, PhD interviewed on the Pat Thurston show. Click the read more link below to listen to the recorded show.

Emotional & Psychological Claims in Multi-Plaintiff Toxic Tort Litigation

Mark I. Levy, MD, DLFAPA and Howard J. Friedman, PhD, ABPP join a panel to discuss what attorneys need to know about the scientific and medical aspects of these injuries.

Armed and Misogynist: How Toxic Masculinity Fuels Mass Shootings

John M. Fabian, PsyD, JD, ABPP interviewed on the Pat Thurston show. Click the read more link below to listen to the recorded show.

fMRI in the Courtroom: A (Very Brief) Overview

On the evening of May 9, 1991, a postdoctoral fellow named Kenneth Kwong ran a new MRI sequence at Massachusetts General Hospital and, remarkably, “saw a bright blob coming out of the visual cortex” (1). This experiment—the first to use blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a human subject—led to a […]

Effects of temporary psychiatric holds on length of stay and readmission risk among persons admitted for psychotic disorders

The practice of involuntary psychiatric commitment is central to the acute treatment of persons with severe mental illness and others in psychiatric crisis. Deciding whether a patient should be admitted involuntarily requires weighing respect for autonomy against beneficence, considering the clinical needs of the patient, and navigating ambiguous legal standards. The relative dearth of information […]

Growing and Managing Expert Witness Practice with Mark Levy, MD and Charles Saldanha, MD

On November 11th, 2020, we were joined by Mark Levy, MD and Charles Saldanha, MD, members of Experts.com since 2005, for a really informative discussion on growing and managing your forensic #expertwitness practice. Doctors Levy and Saldanha started Forensic Psychiatric Associates, LP, in 2005. Dr. Levy had been a solo practitioner of clinical and forensic psychiatry for many years before he and Dr. Saldanha decided to partner and build a nationwide forensic #psychiatry and #psychology practice.

The Neuroscience of Real Life Monsters: Psychopaths, CEOs, & Politicians

Why do some people live lawful lives, while others gravitate toward repeated criminal behavior? Do people choose to be moral or immoral, or is morality simply a genetically inherited function of the brain? Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Octavio Choi explores how emerging neuroscience challenges long-held assumptions underlying the basis—and punishment—of criminal behavior.

Off Label Prescribing & the Standard of Care

When is an antipsychotic not an antipsychotic? Answer: When it is an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer, an anxiolytic, a tranquilizer, or a sleeping pill. Psychiatric medications are used for many purposes. A medication might be categorized as treating one condition but used to treat many other conditions. For example, quetiapine (Seroquel) is categorized as an antipsychotic medication used […]

A Case of Biopharmaceutical-Induced Catatonia and the Implication of a Novel Mechanism

Catatonia can be described structurally as a motor dysregulation syndrome with a concomitant behavioral component. However, despite its initial recognition nearly 150 years ago, the exact pathophysiological causes underlying this syndrome are still somewhat unknown and are potentially variable. This report reviews a case of a patient with multiple catatonic episodes precipitated by the use […]

Risk of suicide after discharge from inpatient psychiatric care: a systematic review

The findings of this review suggest that significant suicide predictors both common and unique to those established for suicide in the general population exist and can be utilised in a clinically meaningful way, despite the difficulties inherent in studying this population.KEY POINTSThe risk of suicide after psychiatric hospitalisation is high.Factors that predict suicide after psychiatric […]

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Telepsychiatry Standards & Practices – Understanding & Mitigating Liability Risks

Telemedicine and telepsychiatry have been used routinely for the past decade, but during the COVID-19 pandemic these services are needed more than ever. Telepsychiatry is being used in sub-practices including addiction counseling. Some physicians are not aware of potential missteps and are opening themselves up to liability claims.

Sanity Evaluations: The relationship between the mental state and the criminal behavior.

The insanity defense is a traditional affirmative defense that dates back to biblical times with more relevant application dating back to English common law. Simply defined, the insanity defense determines whether a defendant is capable of being held criminally responsible for his or her actions. How sanity is more specifically defined differs between states and in Clark v. Arizona, 548 […]

Pseudologia Fantastica: An Elaborate Tale of Combat-related PTSD

Pseudologia fantastica (PF), also known as mythomania or pathologic lying, is a well-known yet controversial phenomenon in psychiatry. There is no firm conceptualization of PF, nor are there any widely accepted diagnostic criteria for PF. The condition may be related to low self-esteem, and it shows some overlap with narcissistic personality disorder and other Diagnostic […]

Mark I Levy Flopped

Virtual Forensic Psychiatric Practice: A Lawyer’s Guide

Just because we’re housebound, ​doesn’t mean we’ve stopped working. Telemedicine and telepsychiatry were growing rapidly, prior to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. A press release published in Marketwatch (October 15, 2019) stated that telepsychiatry was growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22.6% and was expected to reach $300 million per annum by […]

Video: The Criminal Brain

Why do some people live lawful lives, while others gravitate toward repeated criminality? Do people choose to be moral or immoral, or is morality simply a genetically inherited function of the brain, like mathematical ability? Research suggests certain regions of the brain influence moral reasoning. Dr. Octavio Choi explores how emerging neuroscience challenges long-held assumptions underlying the basis—and punishment—of criminal behavior.

Video: Dr. Octavio Choi presents Brain Basics: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly being encountered in the United States criminal justice system. This session will provide a concise and readily accessible introduction to human brain structure, brain function, and how structure and function are studied through modern neuroimaging techniques.

Sarah A. Hall, Phd

Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment of Children and Adolescents

Psychological and neurocognitive assessment can provide empirical data that can be very valuable to the trier of fact in determining the presence, severity, and absence of psychological and neurocognitive damages in children and adolescents. Testing provided by psychologists who are highly trained and experienced with forensic assessment can be extremely helpful for plaintiff and defense […]

Indications for Psychotherapy in Adults in Later Life

Since its inception more than 100 years ago, theories and techniques of psychotherapy have experienced tremendous growth and diversification. There has been a gradual increase in our knowledge of aging as well as in our experience conducting psychotherapy with older adults. Although the core principles of psychotherapy are mostly similar to those pertaining to younger […]

Video: Can Neuroscience help us eradicate psychopathy? Octavio Choi – TEDx Talk, Portland State University

Dr. Choi digs into the psychopaths brain, literally. He examines how their brain reacts and thinks compared to an average brain, hoping that we do our part to guide the psychopaths to a better life.