About ABFM

Established in 1969 to serve the public, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is a not-for-profit, private organization that provides independent assessment of the family physician qualifications.

Vision: Optimal health and health care for all people and communities that family physicians serve.

The Higher Standard

Family Medicine Board Certification

As the trusted authority in board certification, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) offers primary board certification in family medicine and Added Qualifications in Adolescent Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Pain Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Sports Medicine.

We place the patient’s interest first by assessing family physicians against the highest standards of knowledge, professionalism, and ethics to support delivery of safe and high-quality care. In addition to maintaining these standards, physicians are accountable to a lifetime commitment of learning and professional development. ABFM Board Certification is different from medical licensing boards, which set the requirements that all physicians must meet in order to obtain and renew licenses to practice in their state.

With more than 50 years of experience, ABFM currently has over 100,000 board-certified family physicians. ABFM is the third largest of the 24 specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), with whom we work to establish common standards. With a shared responsibility to the health of the public, ABFM also collaborates with educators to identify high priority needs through assessments and other family medicine organizations to preserve the right to professional self-regulation in the specialty of family medicine.

With an unwavering commitment to a trusted certification process that is fair, reliable, accurate, and objective, we work daily to deliver on our promise to both the patient and the physician.

Patient Promise

ABFM promises patients that the ABFM board-certified family physician they choose is held to the highest standard of knowledge, skills, and ethics to support the delivery of safe and high-quality care.

Physician Promise

ABFM promises physicians that the ABFM certificate they earn signifies their deep commitment to patients, their practice, and the profession. It is a meaningful measure of their professionalism, cognitive expertise, and commitment to improvement. By maintaining board certification, physicians help fulfill their responsibilities to society.


ABFM’s mission is to serve the public and the profession through certification, research, educational standards, and support for the improvement of health care.

  • We certify family physicians who demonstrate professionalism, lifelong learning and self-assessment, cognitive expertise, and commitment to improving the care they provide.
  • We engage, support, and partner with ABFM Diplomates over their entire professional careers in the varied communities and capacities in which they serve.
  • We collaborate with organizations, specialties and other partners who share our commitment to high standards and improvement in health and health care.
  • We set rigorous standards for residency training and continuing professional development and support ongoing innovation in education.
  • We conduct research that advances the science of certification, monitors how family physicians and their practices change over time, and advances the scientific basis of family medicine.
  • We support development of future leaders for the specialty, the profession and health care.

ABFM Strategic Plan

Review ABFM’s six-year Strategic Plan for more details.

Strategic Plan