International Society for Sports Psychiatry

ISSP Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry


In May 2018, the ISSP released its portable, didactic sports psychiatry curriculum. It was developed by members of the ISSP Education Committee and designed for use by trainees across many levels looking for additional educational opportunities in sports psychiatry. Thereafter, several ISSP members who are practicing psychiatrists have asked about the possibility of completing the curriculum in order to obtain a certificate or some other acknowledgement of additional training in sports psychiatry. The ISSP Education Committee thus explored this possibility. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has conveyed to the ISSP that they have no concerns with the ISSP offering a “Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry.” Such a certificate in no way implies completion of an ABPN- (or other medical specialty board-) approved subspecialty fellowship training program, and is not a program for Continuing Medical Education credit. There is no charge specifically for participation in this certificate program. The following process for obtaining a “Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry” from the ISSP has been developed via the work of the ISSP Education Committee and ISSP Board of Directors and is available as of February 2019.

Eligibility for ISSP Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry

To be eligible for such a certificate, the following minimum criteria must be met prior to completing the curriculum:

1.     Must be a paid member in good standing with the ISSP 

2.     Must be a medical student, psychiatry resident, fellow in a psychiatry subspecialty fellowship program, or a psychiatrist who has completed a psychiatry residency program

 ***The ISSP offers an additional pathway for experienced sports psychiatrists to obtain a “Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry.”  This augments its traditional certificate pathway for medical students, psychiatry residents/fellows, and psychiatrists.  Significant experience in the field of sports psychiatry is needed in order to be eligible for a certificate through this pathway.  Details and an application form for this pathway are provided here.  Note that given the substantial requirements for this pathway, the majority of our members would still need to undertake the ‘regular’ version of this curriculum in order to be awarded a certificate.

Steps that must be undertaken to obtain an ISSP Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry 

1.     Sign up for an ISSP mentor, with whom you will ultimately have at least one phone conversation to discuss your work within the curriculum. ISSP mentors have at least 5 years of experience in sports psychiatry and are members in good standing with the ISSP.  Sign up for a mentor by emailing Shane Creado, MD ( with the following information (“ISSP MENTORSHIP COMMITTEE” in the subject line):

            1) identifying information:

                        a) current location

                        b) professional and educational level

                        c) background in sports psychiatry

                        d) athletic history

            2) availability, including availability online

            3) basic orientation toward sports psychiatry:

                        a) biological, psychological, social

                        b) performance versus clinical

            4) Specific preferences--if any--for mentor (gender, age, ethnicity or nationality, etc.)

            5) What you hope to get out of mentoring (here please list that you are specifically signing up for a mentor at least in part to have someone with whom to review your completion of the ISSP Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry curriculum and project)

Note that signing up for a mentor and having a mentor-mentee conversation about the curriculum is OPTIONAL if you are a medical student, resident, or fellow completing this curriculum as part of an official elective at your institution IF your institution  provides a mentor with whom you will have at least one 30-60 minute conversation to review your curriculum answers and final project as part of the elective. 

2.     Download the ISSP portable didactic sports psychiatry curriculum available here.  (Note that the ACGME Milestones-based evaluation form available on that page is for optional use if you are a trainee completing this curriculum as an elective for credit within your institution).

3.     Complete all readings and writing assignments as described in the curriculum. Writing assignment responses should be typed in a file that is email-able. Unfortunately, ISSP cannot assume financial or logistical responsibility for obtaining readings for you. Obtainment of the readings might be possible through any of the following means:  1) academic institutions, if you are so affiliated, will often be able to make these available through PubMed or other research search engines; 2) your assigned ISSP or elective mentor might have them available; 3) some authors might be authorized to provide electronic copies to you if you request them; 4) they can be purchased online through the publishers (not through the ISSP).

4.     Complete a “final project” as described in the curriculum document available at the above website. Note that if you have completed a sports psychiatry project (such as having published a relevant journal or newsletter article or having given a relevant talk) within the last 2 years, then this may ‘count’ for final project completion, and can be submitted (per the instructions below for submission of curriculum materials) for consideration as such.

5.     Schedule at least one conversation (likely will be by phone, but could be in person if geography and time allow), at least 30-60 minutes in length, with your above-assigned ISSP mentor.  In advance of this call, please email to your mentor your completed ISSP curriculum answers and final project.  Again, this conversation is optional if you are a medical student, resident, or fellow completing this curriculum as part of an official elective at your institution and with an assigned elective mentor as described above.  During this call, discuss the following (no need for written answers to these prompts):

a.     Your final project, with discussion of steps that you have taken to ensure it fully comes to fruition as a scholarly product that will add to the knowledge base in the field (e.g., submission for consideration for publication in the ISSP newsletter or other publication, etc.).

b.     Those questions within the curriculum that you found most challenging.

c.      Any questions within the curriculum for which you were not sure of the answers.

d.     Your plans for future involvement in the field of sports psychiatry.

6.     Email to the Chair of the ISSP Education Committee, Claudia Reardon, MD (, the following:

a.     Your completed ISSP curriculum answers (you are allowed to make any edits after the phone conversation with your mentor as above).

b.     Your completed final project and evidence of its implementation in some venue.

c.      The name and contact information (email address is preferable) of your ISSP or elective mentor, and date(s) of phone/in-person conversation(s) related to the curriculum as above.

7.     A member of the ISSP Education Committee will review all items in #6 above.  Satisfactory completion of the curriculum will require the following:

a.     Correct or reasonable answers to ALL questions in the ISSP curriculum. The ISSP Education Committee member will use our official answer key to make this determination.  If any of your answers from 5 or fewer topic areas (out of 27 total topic areas) are incorrect or unreasonable, you will be provided the opportunity to make revisions with an indication to you as to which questions specifically need correction. If answers to questions within more than 5 topic areas are incorrect or unreasonable, you will not be eligible for a certificate. You may again attempt completion of the curriculum no sooner than 1 year from the date of submission of your final answers.

b.     Completion of an acceptable final project. This means that final steps to ensure its completion (e.g., article has already been submitted to a journal or newsletter, talk has actually already been given to a group, etc.) have already been taken.  It should be evident that the project took at least 2 hours to complete (and in many cases it will take more).  If the project is deemed unacceptable either because final steps have not been taken, it did not appear to require at least 2 hours to complete, it is factually inaccurate, it is otherwise low quality, or there is anything about it that is contrary to the core purpose/mission and core values of the ISSP as described on the ISSP website (, you will be provided with the opportunity to make appropriate revisions or to complete a different project.

c.      Confirmation by the assigned reviewing member of the ISSP Education Committee with your assigned ISSP/elective mentor that the required conversation occurred and was reasonable.

d.     No objections from other members of the ISSP Education Committee, who will be given the opportunity to review curriculum answers and the final project.  If there is dissent, then a majority of the members of the ISSP Education Committee must vote to approve satisfactory completion of the curriculum.

8.     If completion of the curriculum is deemed satisfactory, a certificate will be awarded (see below).

9.     Upon completion of the certificate program, we kindly request that you complete a voluntary, anonymous, 5-minute online survey so that we can continue to improve the program.  If you are a medical student, resident, or fellow completing this curriculum as part of an official elective at your institution, please complete the learner survey that is included within the body of the curriculum.  The survey for everyone else is available here:


Final Product

Upon completion of all of the above steps:

1.     An electronic ISSP Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry will be emailed to the member.  Printing and mailing of hard copy certificates is not possible.

2.     The member may list “International Society for Sports Psychiatry Certificate of Additional Training in Sports Psychiatry” on their CV or other personal/professional material.  Note that by issuing such a certificate, the ISSP is not attesting to any degree of competence in the field of sports psychiatry; the organization is simply confirming that additional education has been undertaken.


     International Society for Sports Psychiatry is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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