ForensicExpertPro | Beryl Vaughan, Consultant | San Rafael, California

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Do I have to be Board-Certified as a Forensic Psychiatrist? How about as a Forensic Psychologist?

  You do not have to be Board-Certified in the subspecialty of Forensic Psychiatry (ABPN) or Forensic Psychology (ABAA) to render psychiatric or psychological forensic opinions. You will, however,  run into serious problems if you create an impression you are Board-Certified, including by omission. The next FAQ “May I call myself a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist if I’m not Board-Certified” may have some answers for you.  If you are are not Board-Certified in your forensic subspecialty, you should consider it. It may not be as hard as you think.  From the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law:

Per the ABPN the primary requirement is  “…successful completion of one year of ACGME-accredited fellowship 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.”  There are other requirements including exclusions, and the certification examination.  The ABPN site is the best source for this information, not me.  Note: the ForensicExpertPro website contains information for those Board Certified in their primary specialty, (general) Psychiatry or Psychology.  I have limited experience with experts in satellite or adjunct fields. For example, I have worked on cases where forensic opinion and testimony were rendered by a Licensed Social Worker (LCSW) but know nothing other than that it has occurred.


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