CLP Subspecialty Certification & MOC

After more than a decade of effort by countless members and friends of Academy, at the March 2003 meeting of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) the Assembly approved the issuance of subspecialty certificates in Psychosomatic Medicine (PM) by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). In June 2003, the Academy received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In June 2005, the first ABPN examination in Psychosomatic Medicine took place. In October 2017, the ABMS officially changed the name of the subspecialty from Psychosomatic Medicine to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

For more information about the historic subspecialty approval, see Subspecialty Documents below.

Subspecialty Exams

The ABPN exam schedule for 2020 is available on ABPN’s website at Applications for the exams are made via ABPN Physician Folios. Note the application deadline for an exam is about six months before the exam.

Initial Certification

Initial certification examinations in the subspecialty of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry have traditionally been held in the fall of every other year. The next exam will be offered in October 2019. Applications and additional information will be available in January 2019.

For the fall exams, applicants must have been board-certified in General Psychiatry by December 31 of the year before the exam, and have completed one year of ACGME-accredited CLP fellowship training by July 31 of the year of the exam.

ABPN information (deadlines, fees, content) about initial certification in CLP is at Please contact the ABPN Credentials Department at 847-229-6510 or for additional information.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Re-certification exams for CLP are offered every year in the spring. The deadline to apply for the next exam in April 2018 has passed, but information about the 2019 exam will likely be available in the fall of 2018.

The re-certification exam is a written exam assessing cognitive expertise. Three more required elements of MOC are professional standing, lifelong learning (CME) and self-assessment (SA), and Improvement in Medical Practice (PIP). To assist with CME requirements, ACLP offers self-assessment MOC exams to meeting attendees before the ACLP annual meeting. Eight hours of credit are provided.

Complete information about maintaining board certification is in the Maintain Certification section of the ABPN website, which includes a short ABPN Guide to MOC and a more detailed MOC booklet.

Robert Boland, MD, FACLP, former chair of ACLP’s MOC Subcommittee, explained the components of maintaining certification on page 12 of the Academy Summer 2012 Newsletter and described “Changes in the Recertification Process” on page 4 of the Summer 2014 Newsletter. Note that the links to individual ABPN web pages in the Newsletters are obsolete.

Preparing for the Exam

Where available, past ACLP preconference courses, meeting presentations and board review course materials are available for purchase and streaming through ACLP’s Live Learning Center (LLC). Competitive pricing includes substantial discounts for ACLP members and free access for those who attended any session in person. Visit the LLC here.

Subspecialty Documents

PDF icon Proposal for Recognition of “PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE” as a Psychiatric Subspecialty
Lyketsos CG and Levenson J with the ACLP Task Force for Subspecialization, July 2001

This proposal was submitted by the ACLP Task Force to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for specialty board status. While much of the work for this was performed behind the scenes, the document is an excellent review of the proposal process, training details, and expectations in our field, and a valuable resource for preparing other types of proposals involving Consultation-Liaison (or now Psychosomatic) Psychiatry.

Newsletter reprint ABPN Announces Subspecialty Certification in Psychosomatic Medicine
Reprint of article on page 6 of the June 2003 Academy Newsletter. The ABPN issued a press release with the same title in June 2004.