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The Board maintains a rigorous conflict of interest policy. As such, to maintain the confidence of the public and the medical profession in the integrity of the Board, it is important for those doing its work to avoid certain activities that could provide opportunity for a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof. A conflict of interest is defined as an instance wherein a competing outside activity or holding could influence or appear to influence the Board’s activities in the area of policy development, evaluation of training programs, or examination development.
No Board member shall participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which he or she (or a member of his or her immediate family) has a conflict of interest. All board employees and officers shall avoid all conflicts and disclose all potential conflicts between their respective personal, professional or business interests and the interests of the Board.
As an alternative to regulating investment or employment, the Board has chosen to manage matters related to the appearance of a conflict of interest by encouraging disclosure of significant financial interests or relationships and abstention from participation in decision-making related to a matter that could give rise to a conflict of interest (due to a material financial interest or relationship).
Annually, Board members, test committee members, written examination proctors, the President and CEO, and staff members of the Board are required to complete a form disclosing informational conflicts and potential conflicts of interest.
Any individual who participates in any review course that is publicized as being a board review course, or in any course that could be construed as a board review course, or who has edited or provided written or audiovisual materials for publications identified as preparation for Board examinations, or who copies, reproduces, or discloses examination materials or content should not participate as an examiner in any oral examination, as a proctor in any written examination, or as a member of any Board committee for at least 12 months subsequent to the course or publication of any written or audiovisual materials.
In carrying out its specified functions, the Board has formulated rules and regulations to guide its activities and to communicate to applicants and other interested persons its policies regarding training requirements, examinations, fees, etc. These rules and regulations are amended from time to time. The statements contained in this publication are the most recent amendments and represent the policies of the Board as of the date of this publication. Visit www.abpn.com for the most current information. The Board has authority to periodically issue and thereafter to amend the rules and regulations relating to the issuance and revocation of certificates of qualification in the practice of psychiatry, neurology, child neurology, and the recognized subspecialties.
The Board may conduct examinations at such times and places as it deems appropriate. The Board reserves the right to limit the number of candidates admitted to any scheduled examination. The administration and grading of all examinations shall be at the sole discretion of the Board.
Subject to the exceptions noted below, throughout the certification and maintenance of certification processes, and in order to maintain a valid certificate and ABPN Diplomate status, physicians must, at all times, hold an active, full, and unrestricted allopathic and/or osteopathic license to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or province of Canada. If licenses are or have been held in more than one jurisdiction, all licenses held by the physician in jurisdictions in which the physician practices medicine must be full and unrestricted to meet this requirement. An active, full, and unrestricted medical license must be maintained even if a physician is out of the country for extended periods of time.
An unrestricted medical license is a license to practice medicine that has been issued by an appropriate and authorized licensing board and contains no restrictions, conditions, or contingencies on the physician’s privilege to practice professionally and does not have any added requirements to remain full and active. Restrictions include but are not limited to any revocation, suspension, limitation or prohibition against attaining any Drug Enforcement Administration license and/or any licensing board action that results in a revocation, cancellation, suspension, condition, obligation, requirement, probation, forfeiture, surrender, failure to renew, prohibition against applying or renewing, lapse, inactive status or contingency imposed upon a license or in any way relevant to the physician’s privilege to practice professionally regardless of whether the restriction was imposed by an adjudicated order, agreed order, non-contested order, consent order, agreement, stipulation, settlement, or plea agreement. In addition, restrictions include any incarceration as a result of any criminal charges, indictments and/or convictions.
A diplomate who is in possession of a restricted medical license pursuant to these policies in jurisdictions in which the physician practices medicine or practiced medicine at the time the restriction was imposed, whether the Board knows of the restriction or not, no longer meets the Board’s licensure requirements and shall, without any action necessary by the Board or any right to a hearing, automatically lose his or her diplomate status in all specialties and subspecialties for which the individual has received a certificate from the Board, and all such certificates shall be invalid.
A physician in possession of any restricted medical license in jurisdictions in which the physician practices medicine or practiced medicine at the time the restriction was imposed, even if the physician also possesses an unrestricted license in a different jurisdiction, will not be scheduled for examination, be issued a certificate, be authorized to be in possession of a certificate, or be allowed to represent himself or herself as an ABPN-certified physician.
It is the obligation of the candidate/diplomate to inform the Board immediately upon any change in licensure status.
Unless otherwise specified, all training must be completed in programs accredited by the ACGME.
For additional training information, see the individual Information for Applicants document for a specific exam.
Leave of Absence Policy:
The ABPN requires that all programs allow a minimum of four weeks of leave time (including vacation, sick time, maternity/paternity leave, etc.) during training per year. These four weeks should be averaged over the four-year training period. Leave or vacation time may NOT be used to reduce the total amount of required residency training or to make up deficiencies in training. Programs must allow a minimum of 6 weeks of time away from training for purposes of parental, caregiver, and medical leave at least once during training, without exhausting all other allowed time away from training and without extending training. Within ABPN and ACGME policy guidelines, it is up to the program director and the program clinical competency committee to determine whether a given resident has met training requirements or must extend their period of training.
The Board has the authority to revoke any certificate issued by it for cause or to place a certificate holder on probation for a fixed or indefinite period of time.
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.
The Board does not endorse or recommend any texts or other teaching aids identified as “board preparation” material. Furthermore, neither the Board nor any of its committees has any affiliation with or responsibility for programs identifying themselves as “board review courses.”
The Board is not liable for candidate travel and/or other related expenses incurred as a result of the cancellation of an examination.
The Board requires candidates to sit for examinations for which they have applied and/or are scheduled. The Board acknowledges that unforeseen medical or other emergencies may prevent candidates from sitting for examinations to which they have applied and/or are scheduled.
The Board believes that the ethics, conduct, and behavior of its diplomates and candidates for certification are relevant and important. The following rules apply:
The Board provides applicants appeal procedures for certain negative determinations. Please see the individual Information for Applicant document for a specific examination for more information.