This case involves a young man who witnessed the murder of his best friend in a drive-by shooting. The young man was unable to return to work from the emotional distressed suffered as a result of the incident. It was alleged that he had developed post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt. A clinical psychiatrist was sought to conduct an independent medical evaluation of the young man, discuss the effect this incident has had on his mental health, and determine if he had, in fact, developed post-traumatic stress disorder.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your work with PTSD and survivors guilt.
- 2. Have you ever published or lectured in this area?
- 3. Have you served as an expert in any cases that alleged psychological damages such as this?
Expert Witness Response E-091959
I am a practicing psychiatrist whose priority has been understanding, diagnosing and caring for patients. I have evaluated and treated many cases of PTSD in various settings. I have worked with war veterans, in various hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, and correctional), with adults experiencing community violence, with children in specialized child trauma service, with children from foster settings, as well as with victims of acute trauma and crisis. During my past 2 years in private practice, I have seen and worked with the more subtle and chronic impact of childhood and adult trauma on patients. Various forms of trauma and associated survivor’s guilt are a bread and butter component of the presentation of a majority of my patients and I understand their treatment needs. I have an understanding of forensic and legal settings due to having sought out forensic training during my psychiatric education. I also have strong writing and presentation skills, as a result of my strong undergraduate training at an Ivy League university as well as presentation training during business school.
Expert Witness Response E-092261
I am a founding faculty of a trauma certificate program for a prestigious university and teach a course for that program. Clinically, I work exclusively with survivors of trauma most of whom have a diagnosis of PTSD or chronic PTSD. I also work with friends and family members of survivors of trauma. This work has encompassed feelings of survival guilt. I consult with agencies about developing trauma-informed systems and I provide trainings to agencies about trauma. As a professor, I teach courses on trauma including PTSD and oversee 4-6 dissertations a year on trauma. I have several publications and have done many presentations on trauma. I have also performed court evaluations about psychological damages related to traumatic events.