Become Certified

AOA Training Pathway

The American Board of Family Medicine offers two pathways to become board-certified for physicians who received osteopathic medical education or training.

If you’ve graduated from an AOA-approved medical school in the U.S. and have not yet completed residency training, you may be eligible to earn board certification by satisfactorily completing 36 months of training in an ACGME-accredited family medicine residency training program. If you have already completed residency training in an AOA-accredited family medicine residency training program, you may be eligible to earn board certification through the AOA Training Pathway.

​For more information and to determine your eligiblility, please see the information below or contact the ABFM Support Center at 877-223-7437 or [email protected].

Katie Dias, MD
"ABFM certification means that I am committed to bringing the best, most up to date, evidence based care to my patients and community. It means that I am willing to go the extra mile to provide quality care to my rural community."
Katie Dias, DO Board Certified since 2011

ACGME Family Medicine Residency and Advanced Placement Credit

If you have graduated from an American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-approved medical school in the United States, you may qualify for ABFM Board Certification by satisfactorily completing at least 36 months of ACGME-accredited family medicine residency training. There are two pathways to accomplish this:

  1. You may apply to an ACGME-accredited Family Medicine Residency program for entry into the first post graduate year (PGY-1).
  2. If you have already satisfactorily completed an AOA-approved internship (PGY-1), you can submit documentation of this training to receive credit for any portion of that year which meets the ABFM Guidelines for Advanced Placement Entry.

If you are interested in entering this pathway, please contact us at [email protected].


AOA Training Pathway

​If you trained in a three-year AOA-Accredited Family Medicine Residency Training Program, or an AOA program that has received ACGME accreditation or pre-accreditation, you may be eligible to apply for Family Medicine Certification through a special AOA Training Pathway.

Qualifying candidates have a board eligibility period to gain initial certification that expires

  1. seven years from January 1, 2018 if training was completed before this date, or
  2. seven years from the date of successful, verified completion of AOA-accredited family medicine residency training for those completed training on or after January 1, 2018.

Qualified candidates must meet the following AOA Training Pathway requirements  within three calendar years of starting the process. This includes:

  1. Residency Training Requirement: Completion of a 36-month AOA-Accredited Family Medicine Residency Training Program or an AOA-Accredited Family Medicine Residency Program that has received ACGME accreditation or pre-accreditation.
  2. Initial Certification Activities Requirement: Earn a total of 50 certification points by completing ABFM self-assessment and performance improvement activities. Here’s how:
    • Earn 10 points by completing a minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment activity.
    • Earn 20 points by completing a minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement activity.
    • Earn 20 points by completing additional self-assessment or performance improvement activities, or a variety of approved self-assessment alternatives to reach your 50-point total.
  3. Professionalism Requirement: Continuous compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct which includes holding a medical license(s) which meet the licensure requirements of the Guidelines.
  4. Certification Exam Requirement: Submit an exam application with all completed requirements and pass the one-day exam to obtain initial certification.

Candidates who initiate the process, but do not gain initial ABFM certification within three calendar years will be required to complete the Certification Entry Process to gain certification, provided they are still within their seven-year period of board eligibility.

Candidates who do not gain initial ABFM certification by the expiration of their seven-year period of board eligibility may obtain an additional seven-year board eligibility period by completing one year of additional training in an ACGME-accredited Family Medicine residency training program (or an ABFM-approved alternative).

Note: Physicians who completed family medicine residency training programs that were dually accredited by AOA and ACGME follow the traditional pathway for initial certification and are subject to ABFM’s standard policy for board eligibility.

If you are interested in entering this pathway, please complete and submit the AOA Training Pathway Form to us at [email protected] for review.

AOA Pathways Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

If you are interested in earning ABFM board certification through the AOA Training Pathway, please download the application by clicking the button to the right and submit your completed form using the included instructions.

AOA Training Form