ABFM is appreciative of being able to work collaboratively with a number of partners in family medicine, medical education and certification. Key partners and current joint efforts are described below.


American Academy of Family Physicians 

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family physicians . With 131,400 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, as well as internationally, it is one of the largest national medical organizations, and it is the only medical society dedicated solely to primary care. The mission of the AAFP is to improve the health of patients, families, and communities by serving the needs of members with professionalism and creativity.

As the majority of ABFM Diplomates are also AAFP members, the AAFP regularly advocates on their behalf and that of the specialty. In order to reduce the burden of reporting for family physicians, and consistent with the privacy policies of both organizations, the AAFP and ABFM regularly share certification and CME completion information relating to certification and CME reporting requirements.  For PRIME Registry participants, ABFM shares aggregate measures data to the AAFP to determine if customized CME offerings can be linked to measures to benefit the continuing professional development needs of AAFP members.  ABFM also makes available reports containing useful state-level aggregate data collected in the certification process to AAFP state chapters.  This helps assist in their development of local solutions to the needs of members, legislators and patients.

In conjunction with ABFM, STFM, ACOFP, ADFM, AFMRD, NAPCRG and the AAFP Foundation, the AAFP is proud to participate and lead in the 25 by 2030 Student Choice Collaborative which aims to ensure that by 2030, 25 percent of U.S. allopathic and osteopathic medical school seniors select family medicine as their specialty. The strength of the “family” of family medicine organizations working together to address shared concerns for the discipline creates greater opportunity for collaborations that yield the most impactful results. The AAFP, through its Robert Graham Center, also engages with ABFM on research of importance to our specialty and the profession. Through the Pisacano Leadership Foundation, ABFM also provides support for scholars in residence at the Graham Center.

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Society of Teachers of Family Medicine           

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) is an association of medical school  and residency program faculty, community preceptors, residency program directors, residents, students, and others dedicated to the advancement of family medicine education.

ABFM has supported a series of STFM initiatives to improve faculty development and engage community physicians in teaching of medical students. One outcome of this collaborative, multi-organizational effort was a major revision in CMS guidelines on student documentation in electronic health records. Ongoing work supported by ABFM includes a national learning collaborative to pilot standardized student and preceptor onboarding, and development of a Precepting Performance Improvement Program that allows academic units to offer ABFM Performance Improvement credit to family physicians who teach medical students or residents and who participate in a teaching improvement activity.

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Association of Departments of Family Medicine     

The Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM) is comprised of the Chairs and Senior Administrators of Departments of Family Medicine. Representing 150 Departments of Family Medicine across the U.S., AADFM holds an annual Winter Meeting each February that attracts over 200 institutional leaders from Academic Medical Centers who are leading innovations in clinical care delivery, education of medical students, training of residents, and conduct of research.

ABFM has collaborated with ADFM to approve a Residency Research Pathway for residents from selected family medicine residency programs. This pilot program is expected to address:

The urgent need to increase capacity in the specialty to develop leaders in academic medicine; the need to increase the numbers of independently funded family physician-researchers to advance high-priority research areas and 3 the opportunity to expand the pool for talented residents into family medicine training.

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Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors        

The Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD) inspires and empowers family medicine residency program directors to achieve excellence in family medicine residency training, through the support and development of a vibrant community of residency directors engaged in excellence, mutual assistance, and innovation to train future family physicians to meet the health care needs of the public.

ABFM worked closely with AFMRD to develop and deploy an annual national survey of graduates of family medicine residency programs, with aggregate results provided specific to each residency program that compare them to national data on all parameters assessed.  The ABFM recently supported a group waiver application, facilitated by AFMRD, allowing 25 family medicine residency programs to develop scheduling innovations centered on continuity clinical practice for residents.  

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North American Primary Care Research Group      

The North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) is an international, multidisciplinary organization for primary care researchers. Founded in 1972 and oriented to family medicine, NAPCRG has members from all primary care generalist disciplines and related fields, including epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and health services research.  The ABFM Foundation has long been a supporter of the Grant Generating Project at NAPCRG and currently sponsors scholarships for two researchers to attend this valuable offering to enhance their skill at grant writing.

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American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation           

The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its mission is to advance the values of Family Medicine through humanitarian, educational and scientific philanthropy dedicated to improving health. The AAFP Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization and supports more than 20 programs each year.

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Center for the History of Family Medicine 

The ABFM Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM). Housed at the AAFP headquarters and administered by the AAFP Foundation, CHFM serves as the principal resource center for the collection, conservation, study, exhibition, and dissemination of materials relating to the evolving history of the specialty of Family Medicine in the United States.  As a combination historical research library, archives and museum, the CHFM is a valuable resource to anyone interested in the origins of the specialty and its evolution over time.

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American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians           

The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) is a professional medical association that represents more than 20,000 practicing osteopathic family physicians, residents and students throughout the United States. The ACOFP works to promote excellence in osteopathic family medicine through quality education, visionary leadership and responsible advocacy.

The ABFM collaborates with the ACOFP in the semi-annual meetings of the family medicine organizations, and is following the process of transition to a single accreditation system through the RC-FP. Recently the ABFM announced a change to the certification requirements to allow osteopathic family physicians who have completed three years of accredited family medicine residency training to apply for certification with the ABFM. This helps residents who are seeking subsequent subspecialty training or ABFM Certificates of Added Qualification from being deemed ineligible during the transition to a single accreditation system.

Physicians who trained or completed training in a 3-year AOA-accredited family medicine residency or an AOA program that has received ACGME pre-accreditation or initial accreditation are eligible to apply for initial certification with the ABFM provided the requirements for certification entry are met. The eligibility period for initial certification began in December 2018 and conclude December 31, 2022. The certification entry details can be found on the ABFM website. 

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American Board of Medical Specialties  

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) works in collaboration with 24 specialty Member Boards to maintain the standards for physician certification. Governed by a Board of Directors which includes representation from each of the ABMS Member Boards and members of the public, ABMS’ focus is on improving the quality of health care to patients, families, and communities by supporting the continuous professional development of physician specialists.

ABFM has representatives on key committees, including Continuing Certification; Certification; Ethics and Professionalism; Database and Information Technology; Health and Public Policy; and Governance.   In addition to working closely with ABMS leadership, ABFM also collaborates with other ABMS medical specialty boards to foster efforts and relationships aimed at evolving board certification and improving the quality of health care nationally.  

ABFM has also partnered the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the Macy Foundation to fund the Primary Care Faculty Development Initiative (PCFDI) and the evaluation of its related HRSA project, PACER. These initiatives have developed and spread a model based on the clinical implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home in residencies and on teaching the skills of assessment and quality improvement.

To help patients find out if a physician they’re considering is Board Certified, and to educate consumers about the value of board certification, the American Board of Medical Specialties has redesigned www.certificationmatters.org.  This free public service is mobile-friendly and features a simplified search tool, as well as information about ABFM and the other specialty boards that certify physicians.

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