Common questions are answered below pertaining to Board Certification, Credentials, ABPN preCERT® Credentialing System, Maintenance of Certification, and Pearson VUE testing. Complete details on specific training and credentialing requirements for admission to sit for Board examinations are included in the individual Information for Applicants (IFA) documents for each exam. Please see the related examination page on this website for more information.
To be Board-certified in psychiatry, neurology or neurology with special qualification in child neurology, a candidate must:
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, epilepsy, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, hospice and palliative medicine, neurodevelopmental disabilities, neuromuscular medicine, pain medicine, psychosomatic medicine, sleep medicine, and vascular neurology, 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 December 31.
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 resident’s 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.
Training may be completed on a part-time basis, provided that it is no less than half time.
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.
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.
There is currently no limit on the number of times a candidate may apply for examination.
The ABPN 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.
For candidates and diplomates
• Apply for an exam
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• Update resident training details
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For the public and credentialers
• Search for Board certified doctors
• Verify certification status