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    ABFM Makes Certification Available for AOA 3-Year Residency Trained Family Physicians


    The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce a change to the certification requirements, which will now allow osteopathic family physicians who have completed three years of accredited family medicine residency training in either AOA programs or AOA programs that have received ACGME preaccreditation or initial accreditation to apply for certification with the ABFM. The eligibility period for osteopathic family physicians will begin in 2018 and conclude at the end of 2022.

    The current ABFM certification requirements combined with the transition to a single accreditation system could have made potential residents in an AOA-accredited family medicine program seeking ACGME accreditation ineligible for ABFM certification, subsequent ACGME subspecialty training, and ABFM certificates of added qualification. By the end of 2017, AOA-accredited programs applying for ACGME accreditation must submit applications for pre-accreditation, but it may take some time for programs to become fully accredited. There is the possibility that some programs will not become fully accredited before the transition period ends in 2020. Under current ABFM policies those family physicians seeking certification must complete the last two years of training in an ACGME-accredited family medicine program to be eligible for ABFM certification. Additionally, any candidate seeking to obtain an ABFM certificate of added qualification (CAQ) must be currently certified with the ABFM in family medicine. Therefore, current ABFM requirements could have placed family medicine residents in a state of ineligibility for both fellowship training and subspecialty certification barring changing the requirements.

    Physicians who trained or completed training in a 3-year AOA-accredited family medicine residency or an AOA program that has received ACGME preaccreditation or initial accreditation will be eligible to apply for initial certification with the ABFM provided the requirements for certification entry are met. The eligibility period for initial certification for those meeting these requirements will begin in December this year and conclude December 31, 2022. The certification entry details will be made available on the ABFM website by the end of November 2017 and osteopathic family physicians who meet the requirements will be able to seek entry into the certification process at the beginning of December.

    The ABFM Board of Directors approved this change in certification requirements at the 2017 Annual Meeting, and in accordance with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) requirements, the change in ABFM certification requirements was presented to and approved by the ABMS Committee on Certification (COCERT).

    For additional information, click here.

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