New Specialty Certification for Correctional Physicians

Posted Jun 19, 2015

The CertifieCCHP-P logod Correctional Health Professional board of trustees is pleased to announce its newest specialty certification: CCHP-P. The CCHP–Physician credential recognizes expertise among physicians practicing in the specialized field of correctional health care.

Years in the making, this specialty program was spearheaded by a task force comprised of 11 leading experts in correctional medicine. This team worked diligently to define the domain of knowledge unique to practicing in a correctional environment, and then to develop an examination that would accurately measure a candidate’s mastery of that knowledge. After nearly a year of pilot testing, the first exam will be offered in October at NCCHC’s National Conference on Correctional Health Care.

CCHP–Physician Task Force

Patricia Reams, MD, CCHP,
Todd Wilcox, MD, CCHP-A,
  Vice Chair
Eileen Couture, DO, CCHP
Charles Lee, MD, CCHP
Ilse Levin, DO, CCHP
Rebecca Lubelczyk, MD, CCHP
Robert Morris, MD, CCHP
Juan Nunez, MD, CCHP
Esmaeil Porsa, MD, CCHP
Steven Shelton, MD, CCHP-A
Anne Spaulding, MD, CCHP

“Correctional physicians are proud of their work in this specialized field,” says Patricia Reams, MD, CCHP, who chairs the task force. “CCHP-P certification gives them the opportunity to be recognized for their professional knowledge and skills.”

Well-Deserved Recognition
The CCHP–Physician certification program provides validation of a commitment to maintain the knowledge necessary to augment competent and appropriate clinical care to incarcerated patients. A CCHP-P has shown a mastery of specialized content developed by physician experts in the field of correctional health care. Through exam preparation and annual recertification, the program also encourages ongoing professional development.

This is recognition that is well-deserved, says task force member Steven Shelton, MD, CCHP-A, who has worked in correctional medicine for 32 years. “Correctional physicians are often viewed by those outside the field as less qualified and less credentialed than those in other medical specialties. I know many excellent physicians in corrections whose skill far exceeds that of many community-based physicians. I am glad that NCCHC has a specialty certification to recognize correctional physicians, and I will be proud to display that certification.”

The Society of Correctional Physicians (soon to become the American College of Correctional Physicians) agrees, and has officially endorsed the CCHP-P exam. “This is an exciting time in our profession where opportunities for advancement are becoming available,” says Rebecca Lubelczyk, MD, CCHP, president of SCP and a task force member. “SCP supports certification that recognizes and rewards for breadth and depth of correctional health knowledge.”

How to Apply
To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Current CCHP certification
• Unrestricted license (MD or DO) to practice medicine in at least one state, district or territory of the United States and be in good standing with that licensing board
• Practice in the correctional environment over the course of at least three years (no minimum requirement of hours)

Find complete program information and apply online at