|Initial Certification in Geriatric Psychiatry|
The purpose of the ABPN’s initial certification examination is to test the qualifications of candidates in geriatric psychiatry. Geriatric psychiatry entails expertise in prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly, and improvement of psychiatric care for healthy and ill elderly patients.
New Certification Information
Initial Certification in Geriatric Psychiatry
A. History and Statement of Principles
The ABPN, in concurrence with the ABMS, established a Committee on Certification of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Psychiatry in November 1989. This was done to officially establish the field of geriatric psychiatry as a definite area of subspecialization in psychiatry and to provide a means of identifying properly trained and experienced geriatric psychiatrists.
The actual mechanics of certification of qualified candidates have been delegated by the Board to the Committee, which operates under the supervision of and in accordance with the policies of the Board.
In February 1997, the Board, in agreement with the ABMS, discontinued using the term “Added Qualifications” for this certificate. The names of both the certificate and the Committee were changed at that time to “Certification in the Subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry.”
B. Specific Training Requirements
Please Note: This is a brief summary of training requirements and not intended to be all inclusive. Read the current Information for Applicants publication for all requirements for Initial Certification in Geriatric Psychiatry.
Applicants for certification in geriatric psychiatry must be certified by the Board in general psychiatry by December 31 of the year prior to the examination administration. All applicants other than those initially admitted during the “grandfathering period” are required to submit documentation of successful completion of one year of ACGME-accredited fellowship training in geriatric psychiatry that did not begin before the time general residency training in psychiatry, including time spent in combined training programs, was completed. The exposure to geriatric psychiatry given to psychiatry residents as part of their basic psychiatry curriculum does not count toward the one year of training. All licensing and training requirements must be met by July 31 of the year of the examination.
The required one year of specialized training in geriatric psychiatry may be completed on a part-time basis as long as it is not less than half time; credit is not given for periods of training lasting less than one year except under special circumstances that must be approved by the ABPN Credentials Committee. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide detailed documentation from the respective training directors including the exact dates (month/day/year to month/day/year) and outlining training content, duties, and responsibilities. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
C. Examination Content
This 200-item, multiple-choice examination is administered by computer for four hours. Candidates are assessed in developmental, psychological, social, and biologic aspects of aging; psychopathology and psychiatric diagnosis; diagnostic methods; treatment; neuropsychiatric and neurologic aspects of aging; and the general medicine/psychiatry interface.