The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Board Eligibility Policy defines “Board Eligible” as having completed residency training but not yet attained initial certification.

  • Your board eligibility period begins the day after verified completion of ACGME-accredited residency training, and it expires exactly seven years from that date, unless you achieve initial certification before that time.
  • The designation “Board Eligible” applies to those seeking initial certification following the verified completion of ACGME-accredited Family Medicine residency training.
  • In order to maintain board eligible status during the seven-year window, you must be engaged in the Certification Entry or Resident Entry Process and continuously adhere to the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct. 
  • There are no extensions of the seven-year board eligibility period. If your seven-year period of board eligibility has expired, there is one pathway to regain an additional seven-year board eligibility period and to qualify for the Family Medicine Certification Examination. This requires that you complete one year of additional training in an ACGME-accredited Family Medicine residency training program, or an ABFM-approved alternative Family Medicine residency training program.
  • Outside of this seven-year window, it is not permissible for you to refer to yourself as board eligible.

You can begin the process to obtain your certification by logging into your Physician Portfolio to verify that you have started the Entry or Resident Entry process.  If you completed residency training more than three years ago, you will be required to start the Entry Process.