|What is the ABPN|
|The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to serving the public interest and the professions of psychiatry and neurology by promoting excellence in practice through certification and maintenance of certification processes. The ABPN is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties, an organization of 24 approved medical specialty boards. Learn how certification through the ABPN is connected to other training of psychiatrists and neurologists with this diagram.
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The ABPN requires that throughout the initial certification and maintenance of certification processes, physicians must have a valid, unexpired, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or province of Canada. If more than one license is held, they must all be unrestricted to meet this requirement.
Additionally, physicians who are board certified by the ABPN (called ABPN diplomates), have successfully completed an approved training program and an evaluation process assessing their ability to provide quality patient care in a specialty and/or subspecialty. These evaluation processes formulate the core of our business and are encompassed in our Initial Certification Examinations and Maintenance of Certification Program.
More information on the ABPN licensure and exceptions policy, the maintenance of certification process, and other requirements for Board certification, may be found in the Information for Applicants publications, and this web site.
There are many organizations involved in taking active measures to ensure high standards of individual physicians' and health-care organizations' quality of care to the public. Some of these organizations may be able to provide patients and their families with information via their web sites. The ABPN web site may provide links to other web sites that contain information published by institutions and organizations independent of the ABPN. The ABPN does not endorse these external sites and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information they contain. Reference on these sites to any specific commercial product or service does not constitute or imply ABPN endorsement unless specifically stated. Click here for related links.
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What is an ABPN Board-Certified Psychiatrist?
Patients can be assured that an ABPN board-certified psychiatrist has specialized skills and knowledge to diagnose and treat problems ranging from emergencies to the long-term medical management of psychiatric disorders.
The conditions psychiatrists treat include disorders such as:
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance-abuse disorders
- Developmental disabilities
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Adjustment reactions
Psychiatrists can order diagnostic laboratory tests, prescribe medications, provide psychotherapy, evaluate and treat psychological and interpersonal problems, and give continuing care for psychiatric problems.
Psychiatrists are also prepared to intervene with individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis or dealing with great stress.
Psychiatrists may also act as consultants to primary care physicians, or to non-physicians such as psychologists, social workers and nurses.
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What is an ABPN Board-Certified Neurologist or Child Neurologist?
Patients can be assured that an ABPN board-certified neurologist or child neurologist has specialized skills and knowledge to diagnose and treat specific problems and to provide medical management for a range of problems, including emergencies and long-term care of chronic neurological disorders.
Neurologists diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) and muscles. These disorders include:
- Brain and spinal cord tumors
- Muscular dystrophy
- Headache and other pain
- Epilepsy (seizures)
- Parkinson disease
- Alzheimer disease and other memory disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Effects of systemic diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, on the nervous system
Child neurologists diagnose and treat similar disorders in infants, children, and adolescents. They also have special competence in genetic and metabolic problems, malformation, retardation and other neurodevelopmental problems of childhood.
Neurologists and Child Neurologists may also act as consultants to primary care physicians or may give continuing care for primary or secondary neurological problems.
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How can I find out if my doctor is a board-certified specialist?
The ABPN has developed a convenient way to find ABPN board-certified specialists in your area through the ABPN verifyCERT™ Certification and Status Verification System. There are a few different search methods available including by name and "Search by Specialty/Location".
Diplomates can look up their certificate expiration dates and use information to plan MOC activities. Employers may be able to use the system as a credentialing resource.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (the umbrella organization for ABPN and other specialty boards) offers two free verification services to the public: an online service from the "Is Your Doctor Certified?" link at www.abms.org and a toll-free phone service at 1.866.ASK.ABMS (1.866.275.2267).
Individuals may also consult "The Official ABMS Directory of Certified Medical Specialists®" available in most public libraries.
Since the information provided by any of these services does not include board certification effective or expiration dates, it cannot be accepted by the JCAHO, NCQA, URAC, AAAHC, AAAASF, and other accrediting organizations for commercial use to verify physician credentials for accreditation purposes.
Find out why board certification and maintenance of certification are important physician credentials by visiting the ABMS website www.certificationmatters.org.