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Retired 15017 to based a volunteer name reflects achieving appointed a few years ago said that when he discovered his name had been used and complained to the judge, the judge told him it goes with the territory of being expert. Bad answer, but I think that's the norm. One of the questions I occasional get about this is How can I get paid for being listed or declared such as case. I wouldn't want any fee for such a fraud but I'd sure like to the dishonest lawyer punished. If readers have any verified stories to the contrary, I'd like to hear them. Do Courts Prefer Forensic Psychiatrists Over Forensic Psychologists A college senior and criminal justice named Tiffany emailed me the other day with the above question, which came from her teacher. The teacher assumed that courts prefer psychiatrists over psychologists. Here's what I told her. issues at the interface of mental health and the law can be addressed by either a forensic psychologist or a forensic psychiatrist. Some require the special expertise of one or the other. The individual qualifications and experience of the consultant or expert witness are the most important things, but here are some general comments. All assume that the psychologist is a clinical psychologist, with a doctoral degree Sometimes a doctorate counseling or educational psychology is fine, too. It's true that some courts, lawyers, and juries place more credibility psychiatrists than psychologists. The fact that a person has completed medical school and residency conveys credibility, and society's view of physicians as knowledgeable, honest, wise, credible people is a powerful force the courtroom. Psychology is perhaps a bit less familiar and more mysterious to some jurors, and doesn't that Rockwell feeling of kindly old Dr. Welby. It is interesting that psychiatry often invokes both those stereotypes. people think psychiatrists and psychologists are the same, or at least interchangeable. Some 't consider psychiatrists, though they are physicians, to be the same credibility category as a trusted family doctor. A good and ethical forensic clinician, either psychologist or psychiatrist, should not work or give opinions outside his or her areas of expertise and experience, should be forthcoming about his or her limitations, and should refer the attorney or court elsewhere as necessary for the case. Physicians take a particular oath and train a bit longer than clinical psychologists, but most clinical psychologists concentrate on the mind for as years as psychiatrists Both professions have strong ethical and professional obligations which are enforced by their professional organizations and licensing agencies. When knowledge of psychotherapy is required, particularly some specialized kinds of therapy, experienced clinical psychologist is often the best choice. If the psychiatrist is experienced psychotherapy, that's fine as well. A be either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist. cases, however, psychiatrists do not do as much psychotherapy, or as kinds, as a clinical psychologist. Qualified psychiatrists are almost always preferred with there are issues of medication or other biological treatments laboratory or physical tests and procedures damage and when the issue involves inpatient care. Qualified psychiatrists are often preferred matters of severe psychiatric disorders those associated with general medical illness or those that must be differentiated from general medical illness including their diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment, and prognosis. Forensic matters involving criminal responsibility and competency, since they routinely involve characteristics of severe mental illness and dysfunction, generally require a qualified psychiatrist, but benefit from both. Medical malpractice allegations regarding psychiatric patients, particularly those who have committed suicide, complain of adverse reactions to treatment, or have been hospitalized, usually require a qualified psychiatrist, but benefit from both. Placebos and Sham Patients: It's Not Nice to Fool Patients, or Doctors A couple of news services indicate that placebos and sham patients are back the news. We all know that a placebo is a treatment that has no biological merit but used to be popular for treating psychosomatic or imaginary ills Sham patients are actors who impersonate patients but are not really sick. They are common doctor-testing settings and medical schools but now they are being used secretly by some hospitals and clinics to evaluate physicians' care and the health care experience that real patients encounter. First the sham patients. If they were really being used to assess patients' treatment and increase consumer patient satisfaction I'd have little criticism. But one of their main purposes is apparently effort by HMOs and other healthcare payers to catch doctors and other clinicians who be offering unnecessary tests and services. Sure, I'd like to stop the few doctors who are ripping off insurance companies and government agencies order to line their own pockets, and there are lots of watchdogs who monitor for that; but what about the physician who is simply trying to practice careful medicine, to reassure anxious patient, or to go the extra mile providing the kind of care we all want