Many judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals are not aware that forensic psychiatry has been a recognized subspecialty of psychiatry for over twenty five years. The certifying organization is the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Previously, there was a free-standing American Board of Forensic Psychiatry, which offered its own examination. That Board no longer exists.
To be Board Certified:
- A person must have completed all requirements of an approved, three to four-year residency in psychiatry;
- An additional training program in child and adolescent psychiatry requires 2 years;
- A person must have completed an additional year of an approved fellowship in forensic psychiatry;
- There are about 45 accredited fellowships;
- Certification in general psychiatry is a prerequisite for forensic certification;
- The forensic examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions concerning adult and child forensic psychiatry;
- Topics include: sex abuse evaluations, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, violence, psychiatric aspects of guardian/conservatorships, family law, testamentary capacity, competence to stand trial, Internet crimes, legal cases from the United States Supreme Court down to lower courts, and many more;
- To maintain Board Certification, an examination is required every 10 years;
- Until 1999, psychiatrists could be “grandfathered” into forensic Board Certification, if they could demonstrate a career rich in forensic psychiatry and if they passed the examination.
Dr. Herman was mentored by Diane Schetky, M.D., one of the pioneers of forensic child and adolescent psychiatry. She invited him to write academic articles and lead forensic presentations at national and international conferences, from New York to San Diego, from Canada to Paris. Throughout Dr. Herman’s career, he has recognized her as an infinite source of inspiration and generosity