Each year representatives of APA and the American Board of Psychiatry and
Neurology (ABPN), the independent, nonprofit organization that certifies
physicians practicing psychiatry, neurology, or their subspecialties, meet to
review the changes and emerging issues for the field of psychiatry.
This year's meeting was held at APA headquarters on February 7 and
addressed several important and complex issues that are evolving.
ABPN was represented by Elizabeth B. Weller, M.D., its president; Larry R.
Faulkner, M.D., the member at large on its executive committee; Daniel K.
Winstead, M.D., one of its psychiatry directors; and Steven C. Scheiber, M.D.,
executive vice president.
APA was represented by me; Richard Balon, M.D., chair of the Council on
Medical Education and Career Development; John Oldham, M.D., chair of the
Council on Quality Care; Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D., who is
also an ABPN psychiatry director; Deborah Hales, M.D., APA's director of
education and career development; and staff Judith Carrier, Ph.D., Kathleen
Debenham, M.A., and Nancy Delanoche.
Our meeting was productive and wide-ranging, and I would like to share with
you some of the key issues:
As you know, the American Board of Medical Specialties, to which the ABPN
belongs as a member board, has mandated that all medical specialty boards
develop a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. This initiative is part
of a national movement to increase physicians' accountability to the patients
we serve and to improve the quality of medical care provided.
The ABPN and APA are working together to define our respective roles in
MOC. APA will have a significant contribution in lifelong learning and
self-assessment and has a number of new products that provide valuable
services to our members preparing to take the board for the first time or to
recertify. Among them:
To help us develop a strategy concerning the timing of taking Part I and
Part II of the boards, as well as issues related to certification and
subspecialty recertification, I have appointed a presidential task force
co-chaired by Dan Winstead, M.D. (representing APA and ABPN), and David
Goldberg, M.D. (representing APA and the American Association of Directors of
Psychiatric Residency Training).
As always, I welcome hearing from you on these important issues. You may
reach me at