Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 4, 2015


I really thought I was on an extended hiatus from being irked by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. I was all set to wait until I get the bill for the annual fee to be pissed again, but they got to me sooner.

I haven't yet received my new board certificate. When I got my board scores, the package included a certificate shipping form that I could fax to them if I wanted to change my shipping address. It also had a box you could check if you were willing to waive the required signature. I wanted to do this in case no one was home when it was delivered, but the form was incomprehensible, because it wasn't clear if you had to change your address to check that box, or if you should include your current address or leave it blank because you don't have a change of address. I figured anything I did would only make it worse, so I didn't bother with it.

That was bad enough. Today, I get a letter from Jim Henry, Inc, informing me that my certificate is being prepared, and will be mailed to me on June 30, 2015. It also offered me, "A choice of quality frames as described in the enclosed brochure... Just indicate your choice of frame...and return it to us with your remittance no later than May 19, 2015. If no order is received from you by this date, your certificate only will be sent to you unframed at NO CHARGE." (boldface and caps are theirs, not mine).

I am so done with these people. The frames range in price from $70 to $600, with additional costs for special finishes. I already have a framed certificate. The ABPN sent it to me the first time around. It has a little rectangular piece in the lower left hand corner with the expiration date, and that's all that needs to be replaced. But they're sending an entirely new certificate with no expiration date which will need to be framed.

If I bother.

Do I have to speculate about whether the ABPN gets kickbacks on the frames? Honestly, the brochure looks like something from a company that does high school yearbooks. And if you checked out the link to their site, you may have noticed the "pharmaceutical" tab at the top. It links to this page, with the image:

Thousands of dollars in direct payment, board review, and lost patient hours already spent, and now they want me to pay for a crappy frame. Boy they must be broke. How fitting that medical associations and the pharmaceutical industry are grouped together.

In the words of someone very wise, "Sheesh!"