By Adam B. Lewin, PhD, ABPP
ABCCAP is 20!!!
Time flies! ABCCAP is celebrating our 20th year as a specialty board. I’m grateful to leaders in Pediatric and Clinical Child Psychology who went through considerable efforts to establish our specialty board: Dr. Al Finch, Phil Kendall, John Lochman, Jim Johnson, Mike Nelson and Michael Roberts (with Drs. John Piacentini, Mary Fristad, Ric Steele and Lynn Covitz joining the leadership in the first 5 years). Twenty years later: we have an extremely productive specialty board, a training council, APA Level 3 specialty competencies… the list goes on. Establishing our specialty board was crucial to the advancement of Pediatric and Clinical Child Psychology. My gratitude to our early leaders (including anyone whom I inadvertently omitted) – several of whom I am grateful to call a mentor!
My time as ABCCAP President has also gone quickly. Among my aims this year were increasing applications, increasing support to candidates and improving our processes. We set new records in applications (including early applicants), and we markedly increased our trainings and informational efforts. We established monthly office-hours and grew mentor programs to support candidates. We launched our National Examiner Board, a group of experienced exam chairs who agreed to multiple examinations (akin to a journal’s editorial board). I am hopeful for continued growth and that we will further demonstrate the critical role boarding plays in advancing our specialty and increasing parity with physicians and other health professionals.
I am also pleased to announce that we will launch our Diversity Award in 2024 as well as an ABBCAP Scholarship to support boarding costs. Details will be announced early next year.
Our work is just beginning... I hope we can continue efforts to have Pediatric Psychology officially recognized in our board’s title. Half our executive board (including 2 incoming members – Drs. Melissa Faith and Sunnye Mayes) and over half of our candidates seeking examination are Pediatric Psychologists. Pediatric Psychology should be recognized unambiguously. We also have work to do to improve our efficiency. We rely on volunteer-time (from our peers) – to grow we will need to increase our examiner and mentor pools. These service roles not only benefit the advancement of pediatric psychology, but they also provide service leadership roles to psychologists. Board examiners and mentors are hospitalists, clinicians, consultants and educators – mentoring and examining is a way to give back, earn continuing education and network with other pediatric psychologists devoted to promoting our specialty.
Twenty years ago, I was a PhD student in Pediatric Psychology at the University of Florida – Clinical and Health Psychology (Go Gators!). I would have never believed that one day I would have the honor to lead ABCCAP. I’m deeply appreciative to my fellow board members for countless hours of volunteer time – making the boarding process happen is a ton of work! I’m excited to hand things off to Dr. David Langer – 2024 President. Looking back, there’s legacy in this organization (see above). However, looking forward, the ascending leadership of ABCCAP over the next 4 years (Dr. Langer, Dr. Dan Cheron, Dr. Anna Egan and Dr. Sarah Gould) is outstanding. I hope you will consider volunteer service (if boarded) or if not, applying for specialist designation as part of your New Year’s Resolution 2024. Please visit our site at https://www.clinicalchildpsychology.com/ for more information.
Adam B. Lewin, Ph.D., ABPP
President, American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Professor and Division Chief, Pediatric Neuropsychiatry
Interim Maurice and Thelma Rothman Chair of Developmental Pediatrics
University of South Florida College of Medicine