The Role Of The Forensic Psychiatry Expert Witness

In What is Forensic Psychiatry?, forensic psychiatry expert witness Dr. Jerald H. Ratner, M.D., L.F.A.P.A., F.A.B.F.E., describes the role of the forensic psychiatrist:

A psychiatrist with forensic expertise can assist attorneys, federal agencies, plaintiffs, defendants, and the courts to evaluate claims for psychiatric damages, disability and competency.

A psychiatrist with forensic experience is a physician who integrates clinical experience, knowledge of medicine, mental health, and the neurosciences to form an independent, objective opinion. Relevant data is gathered, analyzed and synthesized as part of a process of alternative hypothesis testing to formulate an expert medical/psychiatric opinion. The expert opinion is fortified and validated by a psychiatrist who maintains a predominantly clinical practice (i.e., evaluates and treats patients on a continuous and active basis).