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Wasser, 17 former and current forensic trainees contribute to 'Psychiatry and the Law: Basic Principles'

November 09, 2017

Seventeen former and current Yale Department of Psychiatry trainees contributed to a book edited by Tobias Wasser, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, that serves as an introductory text identifying the legal and ethical issues that arise at the intersection of the mental health and judicial and criminal justice systems.

"Psychiatry and the Law: Basic Principles" was written to train medical students, residents, fellows, and other mental health professionals in the understanding of law and how it relates to the practice of psychiatry.

The book is comprised of 16 chapters, including an introduction and conclusion, that delve into topics such as informed consent, confidentiality, involuntary medication, civil competence, ethics, risk assessment for suicide and violence, and child and adolescent forensic psychiatry.

Springer International Publishing, which published the book, wrote, “Written by experts in the field, each chapter begins with a challenging case vignette synthesized from a historical legal case that places the reader in the role of the treatment provider. The text presents details of the legal case, historical significance, and the precedent it set before discussing the core principles of that particular subject area. Each chapter reviews the existing literature and reinforces the most salient points. Topics include risk assessment, substance misuse and the law, legal issues within child and adolescent psychiatry, involuntary medication considerations, and other challenges that are often not sufficiently addressed in training. The text is specifically designed for new psychiatrists and other professionals who are transitioning from their studies into clinical practice, concisely explaining and defining the issues in a practical, reader-friendly tone suitable as both a quick-reference in a busy environment or as a resource for private study.”

Wasser, who completed his psychiatry training at Yale, is on the faculty in both the Public Psychiatry and Law and Psychiatry Divisions. He is Associate Program Director of the Yale Fellowship in Public Psychiatry, and Medical Director of the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.

Contributing authors from Yale include 17 current and former residents and fellows, several of whom have now joined the department’s faculty:

  • Simha Ravven, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (former forensic fellow)
  • Amanda Sun, MD, PGY-3 Psychiatry resident
  • Katherine Michaelsen, MD, MASc (former resident and forensic fellow)
  • Stephanie Yarnell, MD, PhD, Forensic Psychiatry fellow (former resident)
  • Reena Kapoor, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (former forensic fellow)
  • Marina Nakic, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (former resident and forensic fellow)
  • Kyle Walker, MD (former forensic fellow)
  • Maya Prabhu, MD, LLB, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (former resident and forensic fellow)
  • Karsten Heil, MD, Forensic Psychiatry fellow (former resident)
  • Charles Dike, MBChB, MPH, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (former forensic fellow)
  • Scott Walmer, DO (former forensic fellow)
  • Ish Bhalla, MD, Forensic Psychiatry fellow (former resident)
  • Kevin Trueblood, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (former resident and forensic fellow)
  • Alexander Westphal, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (former resident and forensic fellow)
  • Lindsay Oberleitner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (former psychology trainee)
  • Carlos Salgado, MD (former forensic psychiatry fellow)
  • Hassan Minhas, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (former forensic fellow)
Submitted by Christopher Gardner on November 09, 2017