Initial Certification / Residency

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    Osteopathic Physicians

    Osteopathic trained physicians may qualify to enter the ABFM Family Medicine Certification process in two ways:

    • ACGME Family Medicine Residency and Advanced Placement Credit
    • AOA Training Pathway (time-limited)

    ACGME Family Medicine Residency and Advanced Placement Credit
    Physicians who have graduated from an American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-approved school of medicine in the United States may qualify for certification by satisfactorily completing at least 36 months of ACGME-accredited family medicine residency training. Osteopathic trained physicians completing an ACGME family medicine residency program may do so in two ways:

    • Apply to an ACGME-accredited Family Medicine program for entry into the first post graduate year (PGY1).
    • Submit documentation of satisfactory completion in an AOA-approved internship (PGY1) to receive credit for that portion of the PGY1 year which meets the ABFM guidelines for Advanced Level Entry.

    Physicians completing residency training in these two ways will follow the Resident Certification Entry process. This process includes the completion of self-assessment and performance improvement requirements prior to taking the certification examination:

    • Minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment Activity
    • Minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement Activity with Patient Population
    • Minimum of 50 Family Medicine Certification points from completion of Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement Activities

    Residents will be awarded certification upon satisfactory completion and reporting to the ABFM the following three requirements:

    1. Application and successful completion of the Family Medicine Certification examination
    2. Compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct, which includes holding an active, valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in any state or territory of the United States or any province of Canada
    3. Satisfactory completion of family medicine residency training and verification by the program director

    AOA Training Pathway
    Beginning December 1, 2017 and extending until December 31, 2022, any physician trained in a 3-year AOA-accredited family medicine residency program, or an AOA-accredited family medicine residency program that has received ACGME accreditation or pre-accreditation, is eligible to apply for Family Medicine Certification. Qualifying candidates may enter the AOA Training Pathway starting December 1, 2017 and will have through December 31, 2022 to meet the certification requirements.

    To gain ABFM certification, candidates must meet the following AOA Training Pathway requirements within 3 years of starting the process or by December 31, 2022, whichever date comes first.

    • 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.
    • Completion of ABFM approved self-assessment and performance improvement requirements prior to taking the certification examination:
      • Minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment Activity
      • Minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement Activity with Patient Population
      • Minimum of 50 Family Medicine Certification points from completion of Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement Activities
    • AOA family medicine trained physicians will be awarded certification upon satisfactory completion and reporting to the ABFM the following three requirements:
      1. Application and successful completion of the Family Medicine Certification examination
      2. Compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct, which includes holding an active, valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in any state or territory of the United States or any province of Canada
      3. Satisfactory completion of family medicine residency training and verification by the program director

    Candidates attempting to qualify under this pathway, will need to complete and submit for review the form below to Erik Tousseau or fax to: 859-335-7516 (ATTN: Erik Tousseau).

    AOA Training Pathway Form [218 KB]  

    Qualifying candidates are eligible to take the Family Medicine Certification Examination under the AOA Training Pathway policy from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2022. If a physician completes all the entry requirements, but is unsuccessful on the Family Medicine Certification Examination, he/she will be eligible to continue attempting to gain certification for up to 7 years from January 1, 2018, the start of AOA Training Pathway policy, or the date of completion of AOA-accredited family medicine residency training, whichever occurs later.

    FAQ: Osteopathic Physician Qualifying for Certification  


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