ABMP Requirements


ED: Ward M. Lawson, PhD, ABPP, ABMP

%Tri-County Psychological Services, Inc.

PO 256 Marshfield, MO. 65706

417-859-7746 fax 417-859-7411


Application Form: ABMP-Society-or-student-membership-app-1


A. Initial Application Requirements. To be accepted as an applicant for diplomate status with the American Board the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a doctorate in psychology which was clinically-based in its emphasis and was awarded by an institution that was accredited by one of the recognized US regional accrediting bodies of the Commission of Higher Education or an education institution approved and adopted by the Board of the Academy of Medical Psychology as a quality education institution and program for the training of clinical psychologists or Medical Psychologists.
  2.  Completion of a post-doctoral master’s degree, or certificate program in Clinical Psychopharmacology approved by the Board.  The Accreditation Committee of the Academy of Medical Psychology (AMP) must accredit the program (AMP) or the ABMP Board of Directors must vote to accept the program as equivalent to the requirements for accreditation by the AMP.  See Applications Pages in this Web Site for succinct listing of all requirements.


         2a. Completion of a medical doctorate (MD), awarded by a medical school from which graduates have been licensed to practice in at least one of the United States or at least one of the provinces of Canada.   Psychologists with MD degrees are eligible for ABMP certification after they are one year post MD assuming they had their doctoral degree in psychology first, or the completion of a post doctorate two year graduate program in Medical Psychology approved by the board.


        2b. Possession of a license to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.  Psychologists  with MSN (APN) degrees are eligible for ABMP certification after they are one year post APN training and  liscensure assuming they had their doctoral degree in psychology first, or the completion of a post doctorate two  year graduate program in Medical Psychology approved by the board.


       2c. Possession of a license to prescribe medication as a “Prescribing Psychologist” or as a “Medical Psychologist” or as otherwise allowed by law and as overseen by a State or Provincial Board of Psychology.


      2d. Graduation from the DoD Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project.
1. Completion of a fellowship/internship of at least 1,500 hours in Medical Psychology* or its equivalent. The  ABMP Board of Directors must vote upon the acceptability of the experience in Medical Psychology of the applicant. The training experience in Medical Psychology shall be considered to be acceptable for purposes of   eligibility for ABMP Diplomate status if the fellowship/internship was completed under the auspices of a  program accredited by the Academy of Medical Psychology (AMP) Board. The submission of a letter by a  physician or other prescribing healthcare professional documenting collaboration on patient care of at least one year that includes collaboration on the recommendation of medications shall meet the requirements of the  completion of a fellowship.


3a. Has completed a 1500 hour, minimum of 300 cases, supervised Preceptorship/Residency in Medical Psychology involving providing psychological diagnoses of mental disorders, substance use disorders, and the psychological and life-style aspects of chronic and psychologically related physical disorders; the treatment planning and treatment and case management of these disorders, and collaboration with other heathcare professionals. The requirement for completion of a 1,500 hour fellowship/internship/residency may be waived at the discretion of the board for those applicants who meet the criteria for 2a, 2b, 2c or 2d above.

4. Achievement of a passing grade on a written national examination in psychopharmacology, presentation of clinical work samples, and an oral examination in Medical Psychology.

4a. Achievement of a passing grade on any of the following written examinations 1) The American  Board of  Medical Psychology’s Written Examination in Medical Psychology. 2) Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP), 3) the International College of Prescribing Psychologists (ICPP) Exam in Psychopharmacology, until such time as the ABMP Board of Directors determines that this examination is no longer acceptable as an alternative.   The ABMP Board of Directors will give at least a one year notice of this vote, if taken and passed.


     4b. The applicant must submit two (2) work product samples, consisting of actual documentation (with identifying information deleted), demonstrating the applicant’s clinical skills in the area of medical psychology.   These “case studies and treatment plans” should generally contain a “brief history”, “diagnostic formulation”,  “treatment plan” containing psychological, pharmacological, and case management interventions relative to the diagnoses or multiple diagnoses, and summary of collaboration with other healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions and course in treatment.  The Credentials Review Committee will review the work samples.  All work samples will be reviewed by the committee. If the work samples are determined to reflect the  degree of medical psychological complexity and competence required, the candidate will be notified that he/she has been approved for the scheduling of the oral examination.  If the committee determines that the work samples submitted are not sufficiently complex to demonstrate the appropriate level of skill or, in the event that  the content or competence is questioned, the applicant will be notified. The applicant will then be requested to submit one or more additional work sample to the committee. The committee will notify the applicant of the committee’s concerns in the event that the work samples are determined to be insufficient. Thus, the applicant will be made aware of the specific reasons for rejection and that information shall be taken into consideration by the candidate when submitting new samples.  In the event that the second group of work samples is found to be unacceptable by the committee, the application will be denied.   An applicant can reapply after one year, without prejudice, and;

     4c. The oral examination administered by the American Board of Medical Psychology. A mutually convenient time and location will be determined. The format of the examination will be that of a “professional inquiry,”  collegial in nature, and designed to demonstrate fundamental medical psychological knowledge, clinical problem-solving issues, ethical considerations, cultural/ethnic/gender factors affecting patient care and similar  content. The applicant will need to receive a passing score by two of three ABMP reviewers. The fee for the oral examination is five hundred ($500.00) dollars which is to be submitted to ABMP prior to taking the Oral Examination and progressing to the Written Examination. If a candidate fails to pass the oral examination,  he/she will be allowed to take it again, one time, at an additional cost of five hundred ($500.00) dollars. If the  candidate fails to pass the examination, they will be allowed to re-apply for Diplomate status in no less than one (1) year, without prejudice.  The Five Hundred ($500) dollar examination fee covers both the Oral and Written  Examination, but the Oral Examination must be passed prior to receiving permission to take the Written  Examination.  Upon passing the oral examination, the Candidate may either show proof of passage of one of the approved external written examinations (VERITAS or PEP), or take the ABMP Written Examination to complete board certification in the specialty.  Upon completion of the Oral Examination, the Candidate wishing to take the ABMP written examination will be provided with an ID and Password to go to the appropriate section of the www.amphome.org web site and enter the CE Center and take the online written examination.  Upon completion of both the Oral and Written Examinations the board will vote on conferring the Diploma as a Specialist in Medical Psychology.

5. Submission of an application to ABMP, accompanied by an initial, non-refundable payment of one hundred twenty five ($150.00) dollars, which shall be considered to be payment for review and verification of the facts presented in the application.  Upon acceptance of the application fee, required documentation of all the training and requirements related to qualifications noted above, the credentials committee will either approve the applicant for progression to “Candidacy” status which qualifies them to pay the $500 Oral and Written Examination fee and set up their examination committee and examination dates, or requires them to do specific remediation necessary to achieve Candidacy Status.

6. ABMP will verify the representations made in the individual’s application and act upon the application within a period of one hundred twenty (120) days. If verification of representations is not obtained by ABMP within one hundred twenty (120) days, the applicant will be notified of the deficiencies in the application and will be given an additional one hundred twenty (120) days to arrange for such verification to be provided to ABMP.  All applicants are encouraged to contact central office if they have not had notification within 120 days.  No applicant is qualified for Board Certification who has not been cleared regarding basic training qualification after payment of their $150 application fee by The Credentials Committee of the Board, paid their $500 Oral and Written Examination fee and been advanced to Candidacy Status and successfully pass their Oral and Written Examinations, and had final review and approval of their qualifying process by the Board.

B. Maintenance of “Good Standing”.  A Diplomate of ABMP will be required to maintain “good standing” in order to advertise his/her status to the public. The requirements for maintenance of “good standing” will be determined from time to time by the ABMP Board of Directors. In general, the following will be required:

1. An unrestricted license to practice psychology in the state, province or other relevant jurisdiction where the Diplomate practices.  Diplomate status will terminate immediately upon loss of license or voluntary surrender of license. However, a Diplomate may change their license designation to “retired,” or some similar status with no effect on his/her status as a Diplomate.

2. Completion of the ABMP Recertification Examination as if required and as required by the Board. The ABMP Board of Directors may periodically issue specific requirements, such as continuing education requirements, proof of continuing specialty knowledge or skills, or those relating to cost of the recertification process, the form of the examination, etc.

3. Maintain membership as a Fellow in the Academy of Medical Psychology and continuous payment of annual membership dues supporting the specialty (If a diplomate is arrears in any year’s annual dues, they may attain reinstatement by paying/catching up all years arrears dues and the current year’s dues).  Application Form: ABMP-Society-or-student-membership-app-1

Retired or Inactive Status” (half-price dues for diplomates over 65 year of age, and no longer practicing, teaching, or consulting in psychology, and having achieved an honorary or retired licenses status with their state licensing board).
B. A Diplomate may retain his/her status, without the need for meeting any Board established recertification, once he/she has represented  to the ABMP Board of Directors that he/she is providing clinical services to patients or teaching in a medical psychology-related area less than ten (10) hours/week.  Such specialists must pay annual dues.

Here is a short outline of how the application process proceeds:

1. We receive your packet with our forms (see this website) and $150 check and transfer a copy the Executive Director-Dr. Morris, and a copy to Dr. McClure’s Credentials Committee, and we put the Originals and a copy of the check in central office file for the applicant.

2. When Dr. McClure’s committee reviews and approves the applicant for candidacy, we will ask for a check ($500 oral and written examination) and the background check, and you will be alerted by central office staff (Bethany Nevins) that there will be a cost and function relative to a national background check ($12.50) if you are passed out of credentials committee.

3. When Credentials Committee and clearance of the $150 application fee, and a good background check, is on file, we will advance you to “CANDIDATE” status (or notify you about remedial work or training required to qualify) which qualifies you to pay the $500 application fee (noted above) and take the Oral (Usually people choose the Skype Option, and sit for examination by 3 Diplomates using our approved essay questions and related queries) and Written Examination by issued password on our website (or substitute the PEP or VERITAS) exams.

4.  If the Candidate pays the exam fee, successfully passes a writen and oral exam, they will have their application and Candidacy reviewed by the Board.

5. If the board finds them approved and qualified they can notify the Candidate that they are being advanced to Diplomat Status and that they have all the standing, status, and privileges of a Specialist in Medical Psychology as long as they are current in their annual dues of $85.


Application Academy of Medical Psychology:  Application Form: ABMP-Society-or-student-membership-app-1

Upon receipt of your dues ($85 per year for Diplomates and Members), you will be officially added to the Academy of Medical Psychology at the appropriate membership level.

For those who are applying for designation as Fellow/Specialist/Board Certified Medical Psychologist, please send a copy of your active license and either diploma or transcripts from your psychopharmacology training program, a photo ID, proof of membership or request we verify membership in The Academy of Medical Psychology, and all forms supplied in the application section of this website and the Specialist Application Fee (see the application) by mail or email:

* Medical Psychology as defined on the Academy of Medical Psychology (AMP) website at HERE and HERE

If you need help understanding the qualifications for Society Membership (licensed psychologist with interest in Medical Psychology, or student of psychology or Medical Psychology and psychopharmacology), or Diplomate (specialist) status or optional training programs and tracks, please contact Dr.  Ward Lawson, Executive Director:  at email-ozarkscare@yahoo.com or Dr. Jerry Morris, mentor at cmhcjerry@sbcglobal.net .

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  Can you speak to the flexibility and options for meeting the Basic Science Requirements of achieving specialist certification/Diploma:

A:  There are several ways to get your basic science portion of specialization in Medical Psychology (like in pre-med).  The components of a Diplomate include PsyD or PhD, or EdD in psychology, license, post doc basic science training (can be from other disciplines where this is a requirement, from a college or univirsity, through a post doc masters program, through an approved CE program), then a Residency/Preceptorship, then a submission of a work product, then taking one of the recognized national written exams, then an Oral Exam.

Of course, this is the most rigorous credential and specialty in psychology, and we understand that not every doctor can make this specialization commitment.
So, lets say a licensed psychologist also went back and got an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP, or DO, or MD, or PhD in physiology or anatomy, or nursing degree) when you get your ANP or other appropriate science degree, you can use your anatomy, physiology, psychopharmacology, bio and organic chem, basic health assessment, etc. coursework as a way of meeting the basic science background (one foundation component of the Diplomate’s training).  Lots of disciplines have those requirements and we don’t really care where you got it, but that you have it and know it well enough to pass exams.
You could then, by virtue of your doctorate and license to practice psychology and 8-10 years of foundation training and supervision, make formal application for Credentials Review (see our forms and documentation requirements elsewhere on this web site).  Once the Credentials Committee and Board approve your foundation psychology training, licensure and credentials, you can be assigned a mentor who will help you find (or enroll in our) Preceptorship/Residency and  start to complete that part of your training.  You either have to find a Preceptor (a Medical Psychologist or a Physicion or NP), or get into our Friday year long Skype supervision of cases and practices Preceptorship as a member of AMP to process at least 100 cases and practice in either prescribing or selecting on a collaborative basis appropriate psych meds, and diagnosing patients and providing a comprehensive and scientifically based treatment plan integrating psychopharmacology, psychological, lifestyle, and behavioral and family techniques for the mentally ill, substance abuse, and behavioral and life-style aspects of many chronic physical disorders.
Once you have completed Credentials Review and Approval based on your application and documentation, a residency under appropriate supervision, you can be advanced by the Board to Candidate Status (approved for submission and review of work product, to sit for one of the three approved national written examinations, and ultimately to have Oral Examination (on Skype) by three Diplomates.
When all of these requirements are completed satisfactorily (or any remedial work done if assigned along the way), the Board can review the applicant’s file and confer the Diploma.
Once a person becomes an Academy of Medical Psychology (AMP society) member, we can assign them a mentor to help them with application and guide their training decisions.
Q:  I’m a busy doctor with lots of facility and community responsibilities and I can’t leave to do a post doctoral masters.  Are there other ways I can get the Basic Science Courses?
A:  Yes!  Again, our goal is to provide the nation, and it’s increasingly Integrated Care Model and Multi-disciplinary Primary Care, Hospital, Nursing Home, Community Mental Health Center and other facilities with the senior level and leadership specialists in Medical Psychology that they will need!
Therefore, we’ve tried to develop flexible ways of becoming trained, supervised and specialized.
Unlike some psychological societies that invest in the more “academic tradition” of developing “competencies”, which are really more relevant to begging practitioners who don’t already have an extensive history of demonstrating adequate skill based and technique and area competencies to practice (more helpful for curriculum faculty that health facilities), we focus on “mastery of the readiness to contribute to programs and facilities in a way that fosters enhanced psychosocial and rehabilitation care and leadership.  Therefore, we value our practitioners “staying in their facilities while they grow and become capable of contributing in important new and leadership fashion, and in this way they can demonstrate what the specialty can do to improve the quality and evolution of their community facilities.
Thus, you can get your didactic (Basic Science Courses) in a variety of ways.  You can enroll in one of the Post Doctoral Master’s Degree Programs in Psychopharmacology (much of them is online, though significantly expensive;  we can help you get some of the debt payed back if you borrow student loans and then let us help you compete for a HRSA approved sites for your Residency).  A second way to meet the Basic Science Qualification is to complete the Joint AMP/NAPPP online APA CE Courses complete with Friday Skype Seminars.  These are very comprehensive and use a state of the art online education software and site, and top supervision, faculty, and mentoring.  A third way to get the Basic Science Training is to complete and pass the VERITAS System of training.   A fourth way, described above in another question, is to have a completed science degree that is deemed to satisfy our required areas of study.  You should check the state you intend to practice in to see if they have a preference for how you get your basic science training.
Q:  Can I use a variety of disciplines for Supervisor in my Residency/Preceptorship?
A:  Yes!  Since our trainees are already “practice oriented and training doctors who are already competent psychologists”, and your Applications of Comprehensive Medical Psychology philosophy, training and skills, in multi-disciplinary settings and facilities, and showing advanced Medical Psychology case, program, team, and facility leadership ability are the things we want you to have experience doing-you can use a licensed and experienced health professional who has clinical privileges in the facility or programs where you do your experiential training!  That could be a Medical Psychologist, DO or MD, Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner, or Psychiatrist.
Q:  During my basic science training (whether done externally or internally to the AMP/NAPPP program) can I avail myself of additional preparation and learning by taking APA Approved CEs at www.amphome.org and the CE Center?
A:  If you are a dues paid Academy of Medical Psychology society member (different from Diplomate, though all Specialists are required to maintain their society membership and stay current or lose their Diplomate status and will have to do remediation to recover it) you always get free APA CEs from our CE Center!
Q: Is there an Orientation CE which provides the basic philosophical and professional approach that I will need to conceptualize Medical Psychology in my approach to answering questions in My Oral Examination and in developing my Work Product for submission?
A.  Yes.  Applicants complete an APA Approved CE Course (free to members) at our web site CE center.  This Course:  Introduction to Medical Psychology will provide the orientation you need to do a good job on the Oral Examination and Work Product submission.

Remember:  There are two levels of AMP membership:  a. any licensed healthcare professional with an interest in participating in our free member CE center, list.serve and fellowship, newsletter, Journal and other publications, workshop events, advocacy efforts, and updates on the area of medical psychology, b. Board Certified Specialists in the Psychological Specialty of Medical Psychology (see below for the requirements for this second level of membership).

To become a board certified Specialist in Medical Psychology we have some of the highest standards for any specialty among the clinical specialties in psychology.  To qualify for Board Certification the Psychologist must complete the following:  a. have an active license to practice healthcare in the area of psychology in any state (without current restriction), b. complete one of three approved basic medical and pharmacological science programs approved by the board (a post doctoral accredited psychopharmacology of medical psychology master’s specialty degree, or the NAPPP CE Pharmacology Certificate Program that is APA Approved, completion of the VERATAS Program), c. Completion of the Introduction to Medical Psychology CE course on our CE Center-APA Approved in order to provide the differentiating philosophy and approach of the Specialty (essential to pass the oral exam and work product requirements), d. complete a qualifying preceptorship/supervision or residency and provide documentation of hours and qualifications of the supervisor (see web site), e. file application for Board Certification and pay the application fee (see fees, required documentation, and proof of preceptorship/residency on this web site) for review of the credentials committee, f. once the credentials committee reviews and approves all the previous materials and qualifications the applicant can be approved for Candidate Status, g. The Candidate schedules, and pays the Oral Examination fee, an Oral Examination and is examined by 3 members of the examination committee (essay questions responded to on Skype/tele examination, or phone, or in person examination; approximately 1-2 hours), and submission of two work product assessments and treatment plan samples that are scored as a part of the examination and must show that the Candidate differentiates between the philosophy and skills of the Medical Psychologist and a clinical or psychopharmacologist, h. passage of a national written examination (we accept our online multiple choice and true-false objective examination, or the PEP, or the VERITAS national examinations at or above the 70th percentile.