Description: This book describes the evolution, current status, and future of certification in psychiatry. The authors are respected educators and officials of the psychiatric certification board who write in a consistent and accessible style.
Purpose: Its purpose is to evaluate the current status and efficacy of certification in psychiatry in a historical context and as it reflects the growth of psychiatry as a science. Most importantly, it explores the origins and purpose of the recertification process, its current status, and alternative testing methods for the future.
Audience: The audience is psychiatric educators, particularly psychiatric residency training directors. The book would be of some interest to psychiatric residents preparing for board examinations, but there are more useful texts available for this purpose.
Features: This is a well-conceived and well-organized book, with pertinent, easily scanned tables and very complete up-to-date references. The index is quite exhaustive. Overall, it is attractive and readable.
Assessment: This is a very useful and fairly unique book that focuses on an important subject, but one of interest to a limited audience. It is certain to appeal to psychiatric residency program directors who assist trainees in understanding the nature of and preparing for board examinations and to those who contribute to the development and administration of the examinations as well. The historical review of the evolution of the certification process in the context of the development of the science of psychiatry is of particular interest, as is the discussion of alternative methods of recertification testing. This volume would be targeted for a medical library and is unlikely to have wider appeal.