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Acad Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 1;36(5):363-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.10040061.

Clinical skills verification in general psychiatry: recommendations of the ABPN Task Force on Rater Training.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.



The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) announced in 2007 that general psychiatry training programs must conduct clinical skills verification (CSV), consisting of observed clinical interviews and case presentations during residency, as one requirement to establish graduates' eligibility to sit for the written certification examination. To facilitate implementation of these requirements, the ABPN convened a task force to prepare training materials for faculty and programs to guide them in the CSV process. This article reviews the specific requirements for the CSV experience within general residency programs, and briefly describes the recommendations of the task force for faculty training and program implementation.


Materials prepared by the ABPN Task Force include background information on the intent of the observed interview, a literature review on assessment methods, aids to train faculty in direct observation of clinical work, directions for effective feedback, notes regarding special issues for cross-cultural trainees, clarification of performance standards, and recommendations for structuring and conducting the assessments.


Recommendations of the task force include the use of a variety of clinical settings for CSV assessments, flexibility in the duration of CSV interviews, use of formative and summative feedback after each CSV assessment, and frequent use of the CSV across all years of training. Formal faculty training is recommended to help establish performance parameters, increase interrater reliability, and improve the quality of feedback.


The implementation of the CSV process provides psychiatry training programs with an excellent opportunity to assess how interviewing skills are taught and evaluated. In the process, psychiatry educators have an opportunity to establish performance parameters that will guide the training of residents in patient interaction and evaluation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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