Division of Forensic Psychiatry

Division of Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic Psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry in which mental health overlaps with the law and where clinical expertise is applied to various legal issues including:

  • Civil (e.g. child custody and access)
  • Criminal (e.g. fitness to stand trial, violence)
  • Correctional or legislative matters

Forensic psychiatry services are primarily provided at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (ROMHC) and Brockville Mental Health Centre (BMHC).

2014-2015 Message from Division Head Dr. Paul Fedoroff

Dr. Paul Fedoroff
Dr. Paul Fedoroff

The Division has had another busy and productive year and has grown to include 23 psychiatrists. I wish Dr. Kathleen Howell the best as she starts a private practice in the region, but a continued affiliation with the Division. Dr. Joel Watts has returned to the Division after a very successful stint at the Institut Philippe-Pinel in Montreal. Dr. Floyd Wood, the third of the Division’s PGY-6 residents in two years, successfully completed the program and the Royal College Subspecialty Exam in Forensic Psychiatry. He is the third PGY-6 resident trained in the Division to also be successfully recruited into the department of psychiatry. He will be working mainly in the Integrated Forensic Program’s (IFP’s) Family Court Clinic. I would also like to congratulate Dr. A.G. Ahmed for successfully organizing an external review of the IFP. The IFP is now in the process or reorganization to further improve its successes in clinical care, teaching and research.

Putting students at the centre of our educational mission

Under the direction of Dr. Dominique Bourget, the division completed its second year as a fully-accredited university program in forensic psychiatry with PGY-6 subspecialty training. Dr. Floyd Wood was our third PGY-6 resident. The PGY-6 seminar series was taught entirely by Division members. Plans are to compile the information provided in this year’s series into a textbook for future use. Drs. Brad Booth and John Bradford continue their involvement on the Royal College’s Subspecialty Exam Committee.

Under the direction of Dr. Sanjiv Gulati, The Royal Forensic Seminar Series (RFSS), completed a series of educational events designed to promote lifelong learning for both Division and community psychiatrists by providing introductory online education and self-assessment of professional skills, continued for a second year.

Research Excellence

Members of the Division were successful in obtaining 7 UMRF grants totalling over $300,000 for 2015-2016, and one SSHRC grant, in affiliation with the Faculty of Law. Division members published over 25 articles this year. The Division has established and on-going collaborations with the University of Ottawa’s Departments of Criminology, Psychology, and Faculty of Law. It has affiliations with Carlton and Queens Universities. Internationally, Division members are collaborating with the University of South Carolina and the University of Prague.


The Division’s commitment to bilingualism in accordance with university standards continues. The Sexual Behaviours Clinic offers individualized assessments and treatments in English and French, and our five bilingual staff, Drs. Mathias, Dufour, Lalumière, Watts, and Côté, continue to provide excellent care in both official languages.


Division members routinely present scientific papers in national and international conferences in addition to providing invited talks at prestigious meetings worldwide. Five papers were recently presented at the Sigmund Freud University in July 2015 at a International Association of Law and Mental Health symposium in Vienna. Division Members continue to be active in both the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the Canadian Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Drs. AG Ahmed, John Bradford, and Paul Fedoroff are now members of the prestigious American College of Psychiatrists. This year, Dr. Fedoroff completed his year as President of the International Academy of Sex Researchers, the top academy of its kind in the world. and was recognized by the Royal College and awarded the 2015 Prix d’excellence / Specialist of the Year, Region 3 (Ontario and Nunavut) for contributions in providing care to patients.

I would like to thank everyone for a fruitful year. I look forward to the next.

Putting students at the centre of our educational mission

The Forensic Division completed its first year as one of only two accredited University Programs in 2013 offering PGY-6 subspecialty training in Forensic psychiatry. Drs. Michelle Mathias and Mathieu Dufour were the program’s first two PGY-6 residents. Both not only successfully completed the program but also were awarded sub-specialty certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons after successful completion of the first Royal College Subspecialty exam in Forensic Psychiatry. They were both also successfully recruited to join the Forensic Division as faculty members. The Subspecialty exam committee was Vice-chaired by Dr. Brad Booth and the exam committee chair was Dr. John Bradford, both members of the Forensic Division. As part of the educational program for the PGY-6 residents, a lecture series was created, delivered and attended by most members of the Forensic Division, many of whom also wrote and passed the Royal College qualifying exam.

The Royal Forensic Seminar Series (RFSS) ran on a monthly basis from January-August, 2013. Requests have been received from other hospitals for use of the material for grand rounds. The RFSS was designed to promote lifelong learning for community psychiatrists by providing introductory online education and self-assessment of professional skills. The program consisted of seminars and multiple-choice self-assessment examinations, covering the core competencies currently specified by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Data collected from evaluation of the seminars is being used to improve the next seminar series.

Accredited Residency Training Program in Forensic Psychiatry

Recently, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has granted approval for a subspecialty in Forensic Psychiatry. The University of Ottawa Department of Psychiatry has received approval as a Royal College approved training site for sub-specialization in Forensic Psychiatry. Presently we are receiving applications for candidates wishing to complete a PGY6 year in our subspecialty program.