Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Psychiatrists do?
Psychiatrists are the primary caregivers
in the area of mental health. They assess and treat mental illnesses through
a combination of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, hospitalization, and
What Are the Board's
Requirements for Certification in Psychiatry,
Special Qualification in Child Neurology?
To be Board-certified in psychiatry,
neurology with special
qualification in child neurology, a candidate must:
1. Be a graduate of an accredited medical school in the United States or Canada
or of an international medical school listed by the World Health Organization.
2. Hold an unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one state,
commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or province of
Canada. If licenses are held in more than one jurisdiction, all licenses held by
the physician must meet this requirement. For more information on license
restrictions, see the appropriate Information for Applicants
publication that can be downloaded from the ABPN web site, www.abpn.com.
3. Have satisfactorily completed specialized training requirements in
psychiatry, neurology or child
neurology in programs that are accredited by the
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or certified by the
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This training must adhere to
all Board requirements.
4. Submit a completed official application form including all required
attachments and the appropriate application and examination fees by the
specified deadlines. Only applications submitted on the current application form
are accepted. Faxed copies of applications are not accepted.
5. Pass the appropriate specialty certification examination(s).
Does Certification Expire?
As of October 1, 1994, all individuals achieving Board
certification by the ABPN are issued ten-year, time-limited certificates.
Certificates issued in the subspecialties of addiction psychiatry, clinical
neurophysiology, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, hospice and
palliative medicine, neurodevelopmental disabilities, neuromuscular medicine,
pain medicine, psychosomatic medicine, sleep medicine, and vascular
including those issued prior to October 1, 1994, are ten-year, time-limited
certificates. Ten-year, time-limited certificates for child and adolescent
psychiatry began in 1995. All ABPN time-limited certificates, regardless of
their exact dates of issuance, are considered to expire ten years later on
What Are the ABPN's Rules
Regarding Transferring Between Programs?
To ensure continuity of training, the Board requires that two
of the three years of residency training, excluding the PGY-1, be spent in a
single program. The 36 months of full-time specialized residency training must
be completed in no more than two blocks. If completed in two blocks, the blocks
must not be more than ten years apart. In addition, credit is not given for less
than one-year blocks of training (including the PGY-1). The ABPN Credentials
Committee considers exceptions to these rules only under extraordinary
circumstances. In such cases, respective program directors should contact the
Board office, in writing, prior to the transfer. The letters must outline the
residents training content, duties, and responsibilities, including
exact dates (from month/day/year to month/day/year) of training, and indicate
clearly that the resident will satisfy all ACGME program requirements. Each case
is considered on an individual basis.
May Training Be Completed on
a Part-Time Basis?
Training may be completed on a part-time basis, provided that
it is no less than half time.
May Vacation or Leave Time
Be Used to Complete Training Earlier?
Training programs may schedule individual leave or vacation
time for residents in accordance with the overall institutional policy. Leave or
vacation time may NOT be used to reduce the total amount of required residency
training or to make up deficiencies in training.
May a Candidate with a
Temporary Education or Training License Apply for Examination in Psychiatry,
Neurology with Special Qualification in Child
Applicants who do not yet have an unrestricted medical
license because they are in training are not required to submit a copy of their
medical license at the time of application for examination in psychiatry,
neurology, or child
neurology. However, such applicants must submit a copy of
their unrestricted medical license(s) no later than the date specified in the
appropriate Information for Applicants publication. These dates differ
for different examinations and failure to meet the deadlines for licensure could
result in delay of scheduling or invalidation of scores. Applicants holding more
than one license must submit a copy of each license.
How Many Times May a Candidate Apply for the Board
There is currently no limit on the number of times a
candidate may apply for examination.
What Does It Mean to Be "Board
The ABPN, in accordance with the policy of the American
Board of Medical Specialties, does not recognize or use the term "Board
eligible" and does not issue statements concerning "Board eligibility." The
Board informs an applicant of admissibility to examination only when the
applicant has an active, approved application on file in the Board office.