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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

My ABPN recertification certificate was delivered today. It was maximally inconvenient, because it had to be signed for. It says:

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Incorporated 1934
Member of the American Board of Medical Specialties
hereby declares
Me, MD
maintained certification in Psychiatry
on February 9, 2015
as a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Ongoing certification is contingent upon meeting the requirements of
Maintenance of Certification

Then it has the signatures, certificate number, and a blurb about certification being contingent on maintaining licensure.

First of all, shouldn't it be, "declares that?"

In the lower left hand corner is the seal of the ABPN:

And in the lower right hand corner is the seal of the ABMS:

I'm not sure how well you can see the ABMS seal, but the cap stone of "Excellence" rests on the three pillars of "Ethics", "Honor", and "Skill".

And the Latin ribbon reads, "Animus Opibusque Parati" or, "Prepared in Mind and Resources," which is, apparently, one of the mottoes of South Carolina. The other is, "Dum Spiro Spero" or, "While I Breathe, I Hope."

What about those images on the ABMS seal? I get the staff of Asclepius on the left, but the oil lamp on the right? Master Google didn't come up with a quick answer for me, but I'm thinking, genie? Maybe the three pillars of excellence are really just the three things the ABMS wishes it had. Or maybe it's that Neti Pot thing you use for nasal irrigation.

I don't know what the link is between the ABMS and South Carolina, but this is probably not the state you want to be linked with right now.

Silliness aside, what do you think of that, "Ongoing certification is contingent upon meeting the requirements of Maintenance of Certification?" Would you hang that on your office wall? I won't. It's like the ABMS wants your patients to think, "Hm, is my doctor still board certified? Maybe I should check." Just another way of intimidating doctors into keeping up with MOC.

The certificate came with yet another advertisement from Jim Henry, Inc., for ordering a frame. I'm so glad I didn't get one. My plan is to put this new piece of card stock away someplace, and remove the little rectangle that states that my certification expires at the end of 2015 from the frame on my present certificate.


  1. Agree completely with your next to last paragraph.

    I think it is called marketing genius. Kind of like Adobe no longer selling me my own copy of Photoshop and telling me I can only get it through their "cloud services" and an infinite monthly fee.

    They must be teaching this broadly in MBA school right now.

  2. The lantern caught my eye, too. It's either for nursing or pharmacy, according to the internet. (I searched for "genie lamp medical symbol" without the quotation marks.) I like the old-timey engraved look. OTOH the ABPN logo is jarring. It evokes the international "no" symbol. The poor N is working harder than the other letters to hold the design together, and looks uncomfortable. Taking one for the team, I guess.

    The Lamp of Knowledge
    The most cherished symbol of nursing is the lamp, which represents Florence Nightingale caring for battle-injured patients by lamplight during the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. Considered the founder of modern nursing, “The Lady with the Lamp,” is remembered through the celebration of International Nurses Day on her birthday. The service pledge taken by nurses is based on the original Nightingale Pledge.

    The nursing lamp resembles what most people would recognize as a “genie” lamp and burns oil. While different nursing programs alter the lamp’s look slightly, it is always pictured with a flame – the flame of eternal knowledge. With the flame, the lamp becomes “the lamp of knowledge.

    I also found a clip art site with some pharmacy logos that combine Rx and a lantern. I didn't find them anywhere else. http://www.ipharmd.net/pharmacy/

    BTW JL is activated again; Diana Spechler's latest column broke his good behavior streak.

  3. I've seen the lamp before as an insignia for accredited CME (on flyers and such). It's the "lamp of knowledge." More info here.

  4. The oligarchy has spoken and is reminding you that you must continue running on the hamster wheel.

    Pretty damn depressing. Glad I am grandfathered. By the way what new and exciting developments in psychiatry in the last ten years were on the test?