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Legal Issues

A competent psychiatrist possesses an adequate understanding of the legal system as it relates to physicians' obligations within psychiatric care, and skillfully manages the legal aspects of clinical cases.

Portfolio Entry Requirements:
Select a challenging case with legal implications from your experiences during residency training that best demonstrates your understanding of the legal system and your obligations within it. The case may involve: matters of involuntary admissions; 72-hour holds; cases of suspected abuse or rape; decisions regarding instituting searches for patients who have eloped; interventions with intoxicated patients planning to drive; interventions with patients making specific threats (duty to warn versus confidentiality); consultations regarding capacity issues; clinical versus forensic quality urine toxicological screening, etc. In your cover letter, describe the situation, your specific legal obligations, and your intervention. Include the outcome of your intervention and/or interaction with the legal system.


Legal Issues Scoring Rubric

Important legal knowledge lacking to adequately manage the case.

Appropriate approach to legal issues, but weaknesses could lead to potential problems.

Competent to successfully manage legal issues following a standard approach.

Applies standard approach that demonstrates an understanding of fairly complex legal issues.

Well-integrated knowledge and skills facilitate skillful management of complex legal issues beyond the standard approach.

Wide breadth of knowledge and skills and a sophisticated, well integrated approach; utilizes varied sources to manage very complex legal issues; thorough presentation; acknowledges short-term outcomes.




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