FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Dr. Elizabeth Ford

Dr. Elizabeth Ford

Bellevue Hospital Center
Director, Division of Forensic Psychiatry
New York, NY, USA


Although her career has evolved to focus on forensic psychiatry, particularly the treatment of individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system, Dr. Elizabeth Ford's interest in public service and the care of vulnerable populations has been a long-standing passion. Dr. Ford graduated from Yale University in 1994 with a B.A. in biology, and during her undergraduate training, she received a community service award and spent several months working at a program called Project Prevent in Atlanta, GA. Designed to help prevent premature birth and poor neonatal outcomes for pregnant women abusing crack cocaine, Project Prevent was pivotal in introducing her to the power of passion, commitment and creativity within the medical community. When she graduated from college, she spent a year working at Project Prevent and decided to attend medical school.

Dr. Ford received her M.D. degree from the University of Virginia, where she was first introduced to forensic psychiatry while rotating at a state psychiatric hospital and caring for patients on one of two forensic units. She then completed her internship and residency in Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and went on to complete a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry, also at NYU. After completion of training, she became an attending psychiatrist and then Unit Chief on the Forensic Psychiatry Inpatient Service at Bellevue, one of the only hospital-jail units of its kind in the country. After two years there, Dr. Ford moved to the Bellevue CPEP (Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program) in order to work more flexibly. In the spring of 2009, she returned to the Forensic Psychiatry Division as its Director. In that capacity, she oversees the inpatient forensic psychiatry service, two court clinics (one in Manhattan, another in the Bronx), a robust educational curriculum for psychiatry residents and fellows, and a number of research projects focused on public and correctional psychiatry. In 2010, she became the Training Director for the NYU Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship.

Dr. Ford has been active in the American Psychiatric Association, as a Public Psychiatry fellow during residency and a member of the Council of Psychiatry and the Law currently, and has presented at multiple national organizational meetings and conferences. Her primary interests continue to be optimizing care and creatively solving treatment and management challenges that arise for New York City's thousands of incarcerated mentally ill and educating psychiatrists about the broad reach of forensic psychiatry (civil commitment, informed consent, confidentiality, etc). To that end, she is heavily invested in the mentoring and education of medical students, psychiatric residents and fellows. Dr. Ford is the principal investigator on 4 research projects, all involving residents and/or fellows, focusing on topics such as violence risk assessment and prevention, trauma and PTSD, and the criminalization of the mentally ill.
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