American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN) is a not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1934 following conferences of committees appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Neurological Association, and the then “Section on Nervous and Mental Diseases” of the American Medical Association. This action was taken as a method of identifying qualified specialists in psychiatry and neurology. The ABPN is one of 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Board of Directors consists of sixteen voting members. Elections to fill the places of members whose terms have expired take place annually. 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 board of the American Board of Medical Specialties, an organization of 24 approved medical specialty boards. Neurology and psychiatry are always represented equally on the board. It is independently incorporated. In addition to the specialties of psychiatry, neurology, and neurology with special qualification in child neurology, the ABPN (sometimes in collaboration with other member boards) has sought from the ABMS and gained approval for recognition of 15 subspecialties, as listed below:

  • Addiction psychiatry
  • Brain injury medicine
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Clinical neurophysiology
  • Consultation-liaison psychiatry
  • Epilepsy
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Hospice and palliative medicine
  • Neurocritical care
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Neuromuscular medicine
  • Pain medicine
  • Sleep medicine
  • Vascular neurology

  • Hollender, Marc H. (1991). The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology : the first fifty years. Deerfield, Illinois: The Board.
  • Aminoff, Michael J.; Faulkner, Larry R. (2012). The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology : looking back and moving ahead. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.
  • Faulkner L, Juul D (September 2010). “Trends in American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology specialties and neurologic subspecialties”. American Academy of Neurology. Doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181f39a41. PMC 3463033. PMID 20855855. Retrieved 20 Oct 2020.
  • “Taking a subspecialty exam”. American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Get Call Back from our MBBS Abroad Counsellors

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN), is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the public interest by promoting excellence in the practice of psychiatry and neurology through certification. The ABPN is one of the 24 boards upholding the highest quality standards as a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

The ABPN currently issues the specialty certificates for Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology. The ABPN also currently issues the subspecialty certificates for Addiction Psychiatry, Brain Injury Medicine, Child and Adolescent 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.

Certification Application

Before scheduling an examination appointment, you must have already
  • Applied for certification or maintenance of certification through the ABPN;
  • Been notified of your eligibility to sit for the examination;
  • Paid an examination fee to the ABPN.


First-time test takers must create a Pearson VUE web account. When creating your account and scheduling your test, you will need your ABPN identification number (provided by the ABPN) and a valid email address.

Examination score reports will not be issued upon completion of an exam. They will be provided within ten to twelve weeks by the ABPN.

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology® and the seal are registered trademarks of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. Use of the trademark and seal is prohibited without the express permission of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. © 2014 American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc.

A look at the location, United States

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America, consisting of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers), it is the world’s third- or fourth-largest country by total area.[d] With a population of more than 328 million people, it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Disputes over taxation and political representation with Great Britain led to the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which established independence. In the late 18th century, the U.S. began vigorously expanding across North America, gradually acquiring new territories, oftentimes displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states; by 1848, the United States spanned the continent. Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the second half of the 19th century when the American Civil War led to its abolition. The Spanish–American War and World War I established the U.S. as a world power, a status confirmed by the outcome of World War II.

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in various proxy wars but avoided direct military conflict. They also competed in the Space Race, culminating in the 1969 spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. The revolutions of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 ended the Cold War. This left the United States as the world’s sole superpower, with immense authority in global geopolitics.The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), NATO, and other international organizations.

It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. ranks high in international measures of economic freedom, quality of life, and quality of higher education. Despite considerable income and wealth disparities linked especially to race in comparison to other rich countries, the United States continuously ranks high in measures of socioeconomic performance and receives relatively fair ratings for human rights. However, human rights activists have often criticized it for its large prison population, its police brutality, its continued use of capital punishment, its lack of universal health care, and its foreign policy, among other issues. The United States is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse nations in the world, often called a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Its population has been profoundly shaped by centuries of immigration.


The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values.[441][442] Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries.[443] Mainstream American culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa.[441][444] More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot, and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology MOC

APA can guide you on your pathway to understanding and meeting the four components of MOC. We will keep you up-to-date on the latest MOC Activity Requirements you need to know. APA offers a wide variety of CME and MOC approved activities to help you achieve your CME, MOC, and MOL requirements. All physicians are encouraged to use the ABPN Physician Folio to track progress and requests.

  • You Need a Medical License

    To show evidence of professional standing, all board certified physicians must continuously hold an active, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States, or province of Canada. That license can either be allopathic and/or osteopathic and must be unrestricted. This remains true even if the physician is out of the country for extended periods of time. Full details of licensure requirements can be found in any Information for Applicants publication on the ABPN website. Licenses must be kept up-to-date in a ABPN Physician Folio Account.

  • CME Requirements

    Physicians who were board certified in 2012 or later are required to complete a total of 90 CME credits every three years, averaging 30 credits per year. CME must be relevant to the specialties in which the psychiatrist practices.

ABPN accepts three types of CME credit

  • Category 1 CME accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • Category 1A CME accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Category 1 CME accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Psychiatrists certified in more than one area only need to accrue the stated average of 30 CME credits per year. CME credits can be used to satisfy requirements for multiple specialties and subspecialties.

Psychiatrists must complete the following to fulfill the CME requirement from ABPN:
  • If your last recertification was before 2012:

    You will need to earn a total of 300 CME credits before you apply for the recertification exam.

  • If your last recertification was in 2012 or after:

    You must earn a total of 90 CME credits every three years (an average of 30 CME credits per year) before you apply for the recertification exam.

You may waive 8 CME credits for a peer reviewed grant or paper, peer supervision or peer review up to a maximum of 16 hours. Cognitive Expertise (certification/recertification)

You must successfully complete the cognitive examination every ten (10) years. The MOC Part 3 recertification exam administered by the ABPN. To prepare for the MOC cognitive examinations, psychiatrists should keep up with the latest research and clinical developments in their field, review specialty-specific journals and practice guidelines, and attend relevant CME programs.

Prior to sitting for the exam, physicians must participate in and complete all MOC requirements (see MOC Part 2 and MOC Part 4) by the time of application.

Application and Dates: MOC cognitive examinations for Psychiatry are now administered twice each year, early in the calendar year and in the fall. Application deadlines for MOC cognitive examinations are five to six months prior to the examination. For example, if you were planning to take the test in February 2017, you would need to apply for the recertification examination by October 3, 2016. View the ABPN Exam Schedule to learn the exam dates and application deadlines.

Combined (formerly modular) MOC cognitive examinations are available for physicians who wish to recertify in more than one specialty and/or subspecialty at the same time.

Please note

The ABPN will randomly audit MOC Part 2 and 4 activities of 5% of the applicants for the examination. Those applicants chosen for the audit process must attest completion of all current MOC requirements, as well as provide documentation (so be sure to keep all of your CME, SA certificates, and completed Performance in Practice forms.)

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology certified doctors

Take your American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry (AOBNP) exam conveniently from home through OnVUE online proctoring. A live proctor will monitor you through the webcam on your workstation to provide a secure exam experience.

Watch the short video on the AOA online proctoring page to see how convenient it is to test from home or work. Be sure to run the system test before you sign in to register for an online proctored exam. Good luck!

Certification Application

Before scheduling an examination appointment, you must have already
  • Submitted all application materials directly to the AOBNP; and
  • Received written confirmation from the AOBNP of exam eligibility and scheduling.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology license verification

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) represents the nation’s state medical boards. Licensing requirements vary by state. In most states, physicians must show that they have obtained a required amount of continuing education credit. The FSMB maintains an index of state licensing boards.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology verification
  • Candidates for certification and Maintenance of Certification must possess a valid, unrestricted and unchallenged medical license in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  • Candidates practicing exclusively abroad and who do not hold a U.S. or Canadian license, must hold a license where they practice and provide documentation from the relevant licensing authority that their license is in good standing and without conditions or restrictions.
  • A candidate whose license has been restricted, suspended, revoked or surrendered in any jurisdiction, cannot be certified, recertified or admitted to a certification examination. Restrictions include but are not limited to conditions, contingencies, probation and stipulated agreements

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology FAQ’S

What percentage of psychiatrists are board certified?
4 percent

In 2017, approximately 3,900, or 4 percent, of licensed psychologists in the United States were board certified. About one-third of those were certified in clinical psychology,3 and 26 percent were certified in clinical neuropsychology.

Does board certification expire?

Board certifications, when first offered, did not have an expiration date; however, recognizing the changing pace of medical knowledge recertification is now required to maintain the recognition. This information is validated by the health plan at the time of the credentialing.