UAMS to Host Psychiatrists Applying for Board Certification

By Jon Parham

Taking part in the examinations, the final step for a psychiatrist to become board certified, will be 382 candidates and 132 examiners from around the country. Founded in 1934, the ABPN has certified 48,362 psychiatrists in this country since then, including 1,310 last year.

“While board certification is not required, it represents a significant degree of achievement in this field,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., director of the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute and chairman of the UAMS Department of Psychiatry. “A board-certified psychiatrist has the skills and knowledge necessary to diagnose a wide range of mental illnesses, everything from depression to substance abuse. It requires a great deal of expertise and years of training to reach this level, and these candidates will be able to publicly demonstrate their competence once they have completed this certification.”

This marks the first time the examinations have been held in Little Rock, one of eight locations where they will take place this year. Other locations include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Portland and Cleveland. Along with the Psychiatric Research Institute, the oral examinations will take place at the Arkansas State Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System location in North Little Rock. The examinations involve the applicants being observed and evaluated by board-certified psychiatric examiners while they interview actual patients.

Between May 2006 and September 2009, about 78 percent of the candidates passed their oral boards on the first attempt.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or