Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

ABPN Implementing Recertification Changes

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

ABPN Implementing Recertification Changes

Article excerpt

Psychiatrists and neurologists who take the recertification examination in 2007 will face new requirements under the maintenance of certification process.

Starting next year, physicians taking the exam will need to have completed 30 hours of specialty- or subspecialty-specific category 1 continuing medical education credits. Over the next 10 years, that requirement will grow to 300 hours of CME over a 10-year period. Other new requirements will be phased in over the next few years, according to Katie DiOrio, a spokesperson for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

Impetus for the maintenance of certification process comes from the American Board of Medical Specialties, which began developing maintenance of certification several years ago. The basic requirements--evidence of professional standing, self-assessment, and lifelong learning; demonstration of cognitive expertise; and evaluation of performance in practice--apply to all 24 medical specialty boards. The ABPN is still working out the details of the self-assessment activities and performance-in-practice modules, including how to provide the tools for ABPN diplomates to fulfill these components.

"Maintenance of certification implementation is really in its infancy," Ms. DiOrio said. She advised board diplomates to continue to visit the ABPN Web site at for updates to the maintenance of certification requirements.

Among other requirements, starting with the 2010 examination year (applications for which are due in 2009), diplomates of the ABPN will be required to have completed at least one major self-assessment activity over the 10-year cycle.

Psychiatrists have several approved options in this area. They can complete the American College of Psychiatrists' Psychiatrists In-Practice Examination, post-reading questions from the journal Focus, or the American Psychiatric Association's Practice Guidelines Program.

The self-assessment requirement was originally scheduled to go into effect next year, but officials at ABPN postponed implementation to give physicians more time to complete the activities. ABPN officials also wanted more time to approve additional programs for diplomates to use in fulfilling the component. In an effort to gather information about how many physicians have already started using self-assessment tools, ABPN officials are asking physicians to note on their maintenance of certification applications any self-assessment activities that they have completed, Ms. …

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