The social contract between patients and society can determine medicine’s values and responsibilities in caring for the patient. The social contract is clearly articulated in medicine yet has frayed over the years, which has led to a loss of public trust. Aligning healthcare to support professionalism and value will ultimately support the social contract. ABFM created the Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care in 2018 to work collaboratively on solutions to repair medicine’s social contract, working across a wide array of health care professions.

Standardized examinations help to assure the public that individuals entering a profession have the medical knowledge needed to provide professional services in that field. Since its founding in 1969, the American Board of Family Medicine has conducted several validity studies to verify that the content of the Family Medicine Certification Examination (FMCE) is representative of the specialty's ever-evolving scope of practice.

Research has shown high burnout rates among physicians, with consequences of quality of care delivered and the physician's own health. Linkages between organizational factors and physician burnout have been reported, but few have looked at correlations related specifically with practice type and ownership status. New research from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) analyzed a possible association between burnout among family physicians and practice organization, ownership, and environmental characteristics of the practices in which they work.

We are pleased to provide you access to the October issue of the Phoenix newsletter. This newsletter is presented in PDF format and is available here.


New research has found that half of family physicians seeking to continue their ABFM certification in 2017 cited requirements by employers or hospitals among their reasons for participating in certification. However, only 17.3% report doing so solely because of such extrinsic motivators.

In response to a projected shortage of adult primary care physicians, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited 26 new allopathic medical schools between 2002 and 2018. Many of these schools were built in response to national calls to boost specific provider types, in particular primary care, which the Federal Council on Graduate Medical Education suggested in its 2010 report should comprise 40% of the physician workforce.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has selected Lars Peterson, MD, PhD as the 2019 James C. Puffer, MD/American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Fellow. Dr. Peterson serves as the Vice President of Research at ABFM in Lexington, Kentucky. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and made over 100 national / international conference presentations. Dr. Peterson is also an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky, where he provides direct clinical care and teaches students and residents.


Ongoing research from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) focusing on scope of practice for family physicians has produced a new article based on qualitative data about the challenges faced by family medicine residency graduates who were trained in maternity care and sought jobs that allowed them to include this in their practice.

The number of family physicians providing endoscopic services is significantly declining, according to a recent study. Researchers obtained data from physicians registering for the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Family Medicine Certification Examination between 2014 and 2016. While rural family physicians performed these services more commonly than urban family physicians, the percentage of family physicians providing flexible sigmoidoscopies and endoscopies declined by almost half.

Family physicians training in the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts recently sought to better understand the geography, or “hot-spots” of their patients with food insecurity.