Certificates of Added Qualifications

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    Board Eligibility for Subspecialty Certification

    The ABFM Board Eligibility Policy acknowledges physicians’ frequent use of the term “Board Eligible” to indicate their intent to gain initial certification. This policy defines “Board Eligibility” as the time that may elapse between the completion of subspecialty fellowship training and initial subspecialty certification, which must not exceed seven years.

    A physician’s board eligibility period begins the day after the verified completion of ACGME-accredited subspecialty fellowship training, and expires after seven date-to-date years (Example: 07/01/2017-06/30/2024). A physician who wishes to be designated “Board Eligible” must continuously comply with the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct; must hold a valid certificate in family medicine issued by the ABFM; and must have successfully completed subspecialty training as attested to by the subspecialty fellowship program director.

    After expiration of the 7-year period of subspecialty board eligibility, a family physician can regain subspecialty eligibility only by successfully completing at least one year of additional training in an ACGME-accredited subspecialty fellowship training program (or an ABFM approved alternative). During this 7-year period, the previous requirements remain in place with regard to continuous compliance with the Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure and Personal Conduct. Additionally, the physician must continue to hold a valid certificate in Family Medicine issued by the ABFM. Please note, the physician must complete the additional year of training and regain subspecialty board eligibility to qualify to make application for the subspecialty certification examination.

    An ABFM-approved alternative may consist of: (i) subspecialty fellowship training at an international location with which the ABFM has established a reciprocity agreement (ii) subspecialty fellowship training in an international location with which the ABFM does not have an established reciprocity agreement. All proposed alternative subspecialty fellowship training programs must be submitted for review and approval by the ABFM. For additional information, please see the Board Eligibility for Subspecialty Certification FAQ.

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