One of the best and easiest ways to make sure you receive quality care is to check that your doctor is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). Through training and evaluation, ABMS makes sure that medical professionals are qualified to provide high-level medical services in their specialty.

To be a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), which is one of 24 specialty medical boards that are members of ABMS, doctors must be licensed to practice in their location and pass certification and maintenance exams. ABPN members are called diplomates.

An ABPN board-certified psychiatrist is qualified to treat a variety of disorders and issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, developmental problems, and psychoses. They can also prescribe medication, intervene in crisis situations, order lab tests, and conduct psychotherapy.

Since giving its first exam in 1935, ABPN has certified thousands of psychiatrists who qualify through their education, licensure, and exams. The nonprofit organization continues to develop its maintenance program to make sure its board-certified professionals practice with the highest standards.

About the author: Wanda Gobin, D.O., is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.