Forensic Psychiatry Milestones: Experience After 1 Year

Acad Psychiatry. 2017 Dec;41(6):789-792. doi: 10.1007/s40596-017-0739-8. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Objective: In 1999, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties identified six core competencies for medical practice. In 2013, the milestones were introduced to demonstrate these educational outcomes across each specialty. This study represents the first examination of the sub-specialty Forensic Psychiatry Milestones.

Methods: Members of the Association of Directors of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships were surveyed. Areas of inquiry included whether milestones assisted in identifying areas of deficiency in fellows or programs, whether the graduation milestones matched the goals of training, and what changes were planned, or had been made, based on their implementation.

Results: Twenty-six of 35 programs responded, for a response rate of 74%. The majority found the milestones somewhat or very useful, half found the graduation-level milestones matched the program's graduation goals, and a significant majority reported that the milestones assisted in identifying improvements, change, or intended change. In choosing terms to describe the milestones, however respondents chose a variety of negative or neutral terms, rather than positive ones.

Conclusions: The milestones provided a standard mechanism for identifying areas for improvement and a common language to standardize practice. However, due to the variability across fellowship programs and the limitations of educational resources and time, implementation of the new ACGME requirement was characterized in largely negative terms. Recommendations for improvement included modification of the milestones themselves, flexibility in their implementation, and evidentiary support for their use.

Keywords: Evaluation; Forensic Psychiatry; Residents; Subspecialty.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation / organization & administration
  • Accreditation / standards*
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States