A Legacy of Community Safety: Dr. J. Paul Fedoroff (August 23, 1958 – January 16, 2023)

We are saddened to share the recent passing of Dr. J. Paul Fedoroff. He was a mentor to many and had a lasting and substantial impact on the field of psychiatry.

Dr. Fedoroff had an established International and Canadian reputation as an expert in the assessment and treatment of sex offenders and people with paraphilias. His research focused on problematic sexual behaviors, and he published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and chapters on the topic, including author and co-author of 2 clinical books.

Dr. Paul Fedoroff
Dr. J. Paul Fedoroff

In his work, Dr. Fedoroff placed a strong emphasis on community safety and the prevention of sex crimes. He firmly believed that problematic sexual behaviours can be treated, and that treatment can make a profound positive impact on public safety.

“He believed in prevention; he believed in cure,” says Dr. Sanjiv Gulati, the associate chief of the Integrated Forensic Program at The Royal’s Brockville Mental Health Centre.

For two decades, Dr. Fedoroff had been the Director of the Sexual Behaviours Clinic (SBC) in The Royal’s Integrated Forensic Program. Under his leadership, the SBC was awarded the prestigious American Psychiatric Association (APA) Gold Award for “best outpatient clinical research program” in 2015. This is the APA’s top research award, and this was only the third time it was presented to a Canadian program. 

In recognition of the SBC’s successful integration of its research findings with outstanding clinical outcomes, in 2018 the SBC was also presented with the “Innovation” award from the City of Ottawa Crime Prevention Committee.

Throughout his career, Dr. Fedoroff championed the idea that research, clinical care and teaching are complementary and not competitive interests.

He was a senior researcher with the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) at The Royal and a Distinguished Fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association (2017–present) and the Canadian Psychiatric Association (2012–present).

Dr. Fedoroff was a Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine with cross-appointments in the Faculty of Law and the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. 

He was Past-President of the International Academy of Sex Research (2014) and the Canadian Association of Psychiatry of the Law (2011). These are the top international and Canadian organizations in the fields of sexology and forensic psychiatry. He was also a long-standing member of the American College of Psychiatrists, which sets the American standards for clinical practice, research, academic leadership, and teaching.

Dr. Fedoroff was recognized for his clinical and research work involving people who have intellectual disabilities. He received the Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association for Dual Diagnosis in 2009 as well as the Award of Excellence with the Ontario Association for Developmental Disabilities and the Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice from the National Association for Dual Diagnosis in 2017. In addition, he was the recipient of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons: Prix d’excellence/Specialist of the Year, Division 3 (2014-2015). 

He is also a two-time recipient of The Royal’s Angel Award, a program through which clients and families recognize staff members who they feel have gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional care. 

Dr. Gulati described Dr. Fedoroff as a well-respected mentor, educator, and significant contributor to the field of forensic psychiatry and as a “gentle giant” who lived life to the fullest and was just as passionate about travel, dining, family and friendships as he was about his work. 

While Dr. Gulati will remember Dr. Fedoroff for his long list of accomplishments and the impact he had at The Royal and beyond.  He will also remember him for his unfailing optimism.

”He instilled optimism and hope with every person he came in contact with, whether it was a colleague, a resident, a staff member, or a patient,” says Dr. Gulati. “He leaves behind a huge legacy for which we will always be grateful.”  

Click here to read Dr. Fedoroff’s obituary.