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Psychiatry Expert Witnesses

Unparalleled insight into mental health disorders

Psychiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental illness and emotional disorders. It involves understanding the biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to developing mental health disorders and developing treatment plans that can address these factors. Psychiatrists are medical doctors trained to evaluate patients, diagnose mental illnesses, prescribe medications, and provide psychotherapy to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

In the United States, psychiatrists must hold a medical degree (MD or DO) and complete a four-year residency training program in psychiatry. Board Certification for psychiatrists is handled by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Many psychiatrists also complete fellowship training in a subspecialty such as child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, or addiction psychiatry.

Some conditions that psychiatrists treat include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Personality disorders

The role of a psychiatrist as an expert witness

Cases of psychiatric malpractice can have significant consequences for patients. For instance, a psychiatrist may fail to recognize the signs of suicidality in a patient, leading to a suicide attempt or completion. Psychiatrists may also prescribe the wrong medication or fail to diagnose a mental illness accurately. In medical malpractice cases arising from such instances, an experienced psychiatrist can testify regarding the applicable standard of care and opine whether the defendant psychiatrist met or breached that standard.

Psychiatrists can also be valuable expert witnesses in personal injury cases involving mental injuries, emotional distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A psychiatrist can provide an expert opinion regarding the nature and extent of any mental health conditions that may be related to the injury to help build or refute a case for damages related to emotional distress or other psychological harm. A psychiatrist can also offer an opinion on the cost of treatment for a mental health condition and the possible long-term prognosis for the victim.

The best in psychiatry to assist the legal community

Legal matters involving mental health disorders and emotional distress can be highly fraught. However, the right expert can make a dramatic difference. Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has decades of experience working with America’s finest medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys, and we serve as an integral part of your team from start to finish. If you are considering a case involving a mental injury or psychiatric malpractice, contact us for a free case summary review.

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