Psychiatry Residency & Fellowships | Fellowships

Forensic Fellowship

Forensic Fellowship

Our program, with its unparalleled access to a wide range of patients, offers the highest quality training that produces leaders in the field of forensic psychiatry. The Pine Rest Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship is a fully-immersive training program for psychiatrists to enhance their knowledge in mental fitness, medical and employment evaluations, and risk assessment consultations.

Welcome from Dr. Bill Sanders, Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program

Welcome to the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health/Michigan State University Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship program located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are looking for enthusiastic, talented, and compassionate individuals who are interested in becoming forensic psychiatrists.

The Pine Rest organization provides an excellent opportunity to train forensic fellows. The organization currently serves the entire West Michigan region, encompassing millions of people. The Pine Rest Organization includes a 198-bed psychiatric hospital, partial hospitalization program, residential programs, telepsychiatry, psychiatry residency, multiple psychiatry fellowship programs (addiction, child and adolescent and geriatric) and the Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology Services (FPPS). Furthermore, the Pine Rest outpatient network includes nearly 300,000 outpatient visits annually. Each of these programs provide unique learning opportunities for forensic psychiatry fellows.

The forensic fellow will be supported by four fellowship-trained forensic psychiatrists, multiple expert forensic psychologists from the FPPS, and legal experts from the criminal justice system.

The program includes a multitude of unique training opportunities for forensic psychiatry fellows, such as:

  • Police officer work evaluations
  • Federal aviation employment evaluations
  • School safety evaluations
  • Independent medical evaluations
  • Competency to stand trial

Additionally, the forensic fellow will have the opportunity to work with the West Michigan Federal Defenders office, work inside a maximum security prison (including work on general psychiatry, severely and persistently mentally ill, dementia, and cognitively impaired populations), and will have the opportunity to consult in acute care hospitals covering 208 inpatient beds conducting suicide and risk assessments.

Consistently Nationally Recognized City

Grand Rapids is a growing and culturally diverse city. Opportunities for a balanced life abound, from the magnificent beaches of nearby Lake Michigan, to the National Forests, rivers and lakes on all sides. Frederik Meijer Gardens, one of the premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks in the country, is a jewel in the city’s crown. Abundant cultural opportunities, such as ArtPrize, engage the whole community.

Grand Rapids is also home to several award-winning hospital systems, as well as the Van Andel Institute, a world class primary research facility. The breadth and quality of healthcare in Grand Rapids, along with a growing research climate, recently convinced Michigan State University to relocate their College of Human Medicine to downtown Grand Rapids. Pine Rest is a key player in the medical community, and excited to bring forensic psychiatry to the area.

Learn more about Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Overview

The fellowship is a one year, ACGME accredited program providing experiences in institutionalized, inpatient, and outpatient settings.

Program Description


The Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship program strives to train excellent Forensic Psychiatrists to meet the ongoing community need addressing the significant overlap between legal and behavioral health systems. The fellowship accomplishes this through robust community partnerships with multidisciplinary forensic experts in multiple diverse internal and external systems of care with a broad range of civil and criminal exposure.


A world in which complex legal matters can be understood in the context of behavioral health.


Goals of the Program

  • Knowledge of psychiatric evaluation of individuals with a history of: criminal behavior, criminal responsibility and competency for trial, dangerousness, and sexual misconduct
  • Knowledge and application of civil law when conducting a psychiatric review of individuals with the above listed issues
  • Assessment of competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, amnesia
  • Familiarity with ethical, administrative and legal issues in forensic psychiatry
  • Evaluation and treatment of incarcerated individuals
  • Ability to assess dangerousness
  • Ability to write forensic reports
  • Knowledge of civil and criminal law
  • Knowledge of the relevancy of legal documentation

Training Sites

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

One of the largest behavioral health provider in the United States; here, fellows will complete psychiatric evaluations and suicide/risk assessments in a 198-bed acute care psychiatric inpatient facility.

Michigan Department of Corrections—Ionia County Maximum Security Prison

This maximum-security prison is a location in which fellows will gain practical knowledge in direct care with those with persistent and severe mental health concerns and provide care to incarcerated patients.

Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital

Fellows will rotate at a community hospital to complete suicide/risk and competency assessments under the guidance of Dr. Ryan Marin.

Treatment Court—Kent County Department of Justice


Benefits and Pay

A stipend is provided in the following amount:

PGY5: $72,784

Benefits are as follows:

Twenty (20) PTO days are allowed each year for fellows at each level. Six (6) calendar holidays are also provided as PTO to fellows: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Pine Rest offers 20 hours of wellness time to residents in addition to PTO, to be used for personal or family wellness appointments.

Conference Time is allowed for PGY2 fellows and above, for one conference per year, up to one week or five (5) CME days.

Conference/Academic/Book Allowance is provided to fellows up to $2500 per year.

Fellows are allowed up to 5 days administrative leave for interviewing. Approval must be obtained in advance.

The Employee Assistance Program at Pine Rest offers confidential individual or family counseling, grief and substance abuse support, financial advising, and other services.

Free parking is provided on Pine Rest grounds.

Food service is available in the cafeteria and in the Resident Lounge.

Pine Rest provides a laptop and pager app (Spok mobile).

Pine Rest provides two lab coats at the beginning of the program to fellows.

Pine Rest provides Professional Liability Insurance with tail coverage.

Pine Rest provides athletic club membership discounts at the YMCA and MVP sports clubs.

See additional health, dental, vision, retirement, life insurance and other benefits here.

This is only intended to be a general overview of the current benefits programs at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services/Michigan State University Psychiatry Residency, and it is subject to change.

Updated April 2024.

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