|Initial Certification in Forensic Psychiatry|
The purpose of the ABPN’s initial certification examination is to test the qualifications of candidates in forensic psychiatry. Forensic psychiatry entails having psychiatric focus on interrelationships with civil, criminal and administrative law, evaluation and specialized treatment of individuals involved with the legal system, incarcerated in jails, prisons, and forensic psychiatry hospitals.
New Certification Information
Initial Certification in Forensic Psychiatry
A. History and Statement of Principles
The ABPN, in concurrence with the ABMS, established a Committee on Certification of Added Qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry in November 1992. This was done to officially establish the field of forensic psychiatry as a definite area of subspecialization in psychiatry and to provide a means of identifying properly trained and experienced forensic 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 Forensic 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 Forensic Psychiatry.
Applicants for certification in forensic 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 forensic 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 forensic 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 forensic 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 of training (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 timed examination is administered via computer at Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Candidates are assessed in legal regulation of psychiatry, civil law, criminal law, death penalty, legal systems and basic law, children and families, special diagnostic and treatment issues, special procedures in forensic psychiatry, special consultations and investigations, risk assessment, and forensic psychiatry practice issues.