Board Certification: Voluntary But Necessary

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Forensic psychiatrists offer testimony at trials when a person's mental or emotional health status may be pertinent to the case. These psychiatrists need to have the right combination of training and experience to allow them to review cases and offer testimony. They do not need certification, but if you're trying to find an expert forensic psychiatry witness, do your best to find one who is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. This certification shows that the psychiatrist has certain qualities that could give you an advantage.

Proof of Specific Training

One is that the certification is proof that the psychiatrist has gone through additional training that is specific to forensic psychiatry. This does not necessarily mean that a psychiatrist who is not board-certified won't have experience or training. But it is proof that this person went through additional training on purpose to gain more knowledge in forensic psychiatry. In other words, if you're talking to a psychiatrist who has not testified at many trials yet, but they are board-certified, you know you're dealing with someone who knows what they're doing.

Dedication to the Subfield of Forensic Psychiatry

The certification also shows dedication to the subfield of forensic psychiatry. This is someone who definitely wanted to be in the field and definitely wanted as much training as possible to increase their skills. You're dealing with a psychiatrist who is interested in forensic psychiatry and who wants to do the best they can.

Preparation for Trial

While certification is not the only way to train in giving testimony, someone who has gone through the certification process and all the education it entails will likely have taken time to find out more about what testifying requires. This won't be an issue for you if you're looking at forensic psychiatrists who have been expert witnesses many times, but for those psychiatrists who are starting out, you want to have someone on your side in a case who will not be thrown off by anything that can happen in a courtroom.

There are non-certified forensic psychiatrists who have plenty of experience and knowledge and who can evaluate the case and give testimony without a problem. But the certification gives you that much more assurance that the psychiatrist you have coming into court to testify for your side will be able to get the information across in just the way you need. For more information, contact a local company like FPA Med