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The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, founded in 1969, is an organization made up of psychiatrists. The main purpose of the organization is for the research, teaching, and practice of forensic psychiatry. Currently AAPL (they pronounce it Apple), has more than 1,500 members in the United States, Canada, and around the world. The work that a forensic psychiatrist does is going to be very similar to the work that a forensic psychologists does. They will work with psychological issues and the law. AAPL is a good organization for those who are forensic specialists as well as those that are general psychiatrists.

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Working within forensic psychiatry takes the specialist into many different types of cases, some of which are similar to those that a forensic psychologist might work. Cases can involve violent crimes, competence, custody and visitation, mental disability, juvenile justice, ethics, and more. The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law is a great organization for those psychiatrists who work in the area of the law to come together to have a common place where they will be able to research and talk amounts colleagues.

Does a Forensic Psychologist Qualify for Membership?

A forensic psychologist is not going to qualify for membership in the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. A psychiatrist is an MD, whereas a psychologist is a PhD. If the psychologist also has an MD in general psychiatry, in addition to his or her PhD, then it would be possible to qualify. It is also necessary to be a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, or an APA equivalent in Canada or another foreign country.

What Does Membership Include?

Those who do qualify will be able to receive some good benefits thanks to their membership. They will receive the quarterly Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, which contains articles on forensic psychology and other areas in the field. In addition, they will receive the AAPL Newsletter, which also includes articles, reviews of cases, conference information, and more. Through the AAPL website, forensic psychiatrists will have a link to their own page. They will be able to attend the annual meeting, and much more.

This is the perfect organization for someone to join if he or she is a forensic psychiatrist. Becoming part of such a large and well-respected group can be a great step in the right direction. It can help a person’s career in a number of different ways. It’s possible to have a great network on which they will be able to rely. It’s a great place to research since they have access to so many others that are in the field.

While it may be unfortunate that psychologists can’t join the Academy, it makes perfect sense. There are differences between psychologists and psychiatrists, in their training and the way they work. Even though they work in similar areas, there is enough of a difference that they do warrant separate professional organizations.

Please visit for more information about The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.


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