American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists

The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

By Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.

For our Fifteenth Annual Meeting, it was agree to go to Atlantic City and have our sessions just prior to those of the A.O.A., which had scheduled its convention in that city July 14th to 18th. This convention was notable for the action taken by the college in face of the refusal of the Bureau of Hospitals to have neuropsychiatric representation on its residency inspection team when evaluating neurological or psychiatric residency training process. As mentioned earlier in this history, the college solved the problem by taking all training programs under jurisdiction by the mechanism of calling them “Full- time Fellowship Graduate Training Programs”. The College also set up formal Requirements for Approval of Graduate Training Programs in Neurology, in Psychiatry, and in Neurosurgery. Previously there had been some variation in training at the different osteopathic centers; in some the training was not well organized, with little direction being given to the trainees who were often left to find for themselves what knowledge they ought to acquire in order to become well- organized and truly proficient in their chosen specialty. Now the College decided that the day had passed when the mere fact that a physician had spent three years of apprenticeship in a psychiatric hospital or on a neurological service should be evaluated as adequate training to make him “Board- eligible”. We had this conclusion brought sharply in focus for us when several of our candidates who had presumably passed through a three- year “residency” failed their oral & written examinations and seemed not to know what they really should have been learning during their training years.

Also in this phase of our colleges growth, other specialty colleges were being developed by specialists in the various osteopathic medical disciplines; our Specialty Examination Boards were coming to realize that their proper function was not to set up, or to pass on the adequacy of, graduate training programs, but ONLY to examine qualified candidates; it was agreed that it was a proper function of the Specialty Colleges to set up standards for graduate training, and to register and guide physicians through that training toward their “Boards”.

Our Sixteenth Annual Meeting was a memorable one. It was held at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, July 10th & 11th, 1953, just prior to the annual A.O.A. Convention at the same old famous hotel. At our sessions, Dr. Cecil Harris announced the opening of what was to become the Philadelphia Mental Health Institute (and which was destined to play a leading role in the training of D.O. psychiatrists in the east for the next three decades); Dr. Floyd E. Dunn announced the inauguration of a Full- Time Fellowship Graduate Training Program at the Kansas City College Hospital and the Human Relations Clinic of the college; the membership formally adopted Certification Requirements (which had been proposed in Atlantic City a year earlier and had been put into final draft by our Evaluating Committee working in close cooperation with members of the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology & Psychiatry). The requirements called for 6000 clock hours for either neurology or psychiatry training and 10,000 hours (over a five year period) for neurology and Psychiatry; the requirements gave specific details much, as they do at the present time, as to the subject matter to be provided (with clinical/bedside and lecture/seminar teaching in clinically oriented disciplines only).

We conformed to the A.O.A. ruling that the responsibility for setting up and for evaluating graduate training programs would henceforth be the duty of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists rather than the A.O.B.N.P. and the Evaluating Committee was enlarge to five members (usually with two of the people selected from the A.O.B.N. P. so the right hand would know what the left hand was doing). This required setting up a training register, with a complete full file on each trainee, with a mandatory annual report on each trainee to be filed with the secretary of the college—a copy in the trainee’s file and a copy to go thence to the proper A.O.A. Committee (that body came to be known as the Committee on Post- doctoral Training, although at first, all these reports plus annual reports from every training center were sent to and evaluated & approved/disapproved by the Advisory Board for osteopathic Specialists).

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