Initial Certification / Residency

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    Family Medicine Residency Program — 5-Year Certification Summary

    The ABFM is pleased to offer a report of the performance of graduates from Family Medicine Residency Programs on the ABFM certification examination over the past five years. This report is intended for the prospective resident, but may also be useful to others involved in Family Medicine training.

    Appropriate Use of the Report: Weighting and Limitations 
    The information provided in this report should be viewed as one element among a number of potential indicators of overall program quality. Although it may be easy or tempting to simply use these values to rank programs, a robust comparison process for selecting a residency program will include a wider array of variables based on one's individual training needs and long-term goals. Thus, the ABFM discourages the exclusive use or overweighting of this report. For more information and ideas to assist you with your decision of selecting a family medicine training program, please visit the website of the AAFP Family Medicine Interest Group.

    While reviewing the report's summary data, please bear in mind the variety of factors that go into these values. First, a "program's success" in terms of this report, is literally the composite success of the individuals who graduated from the program. This means that individual factors such as the specific amount of time put into study for the exam, personal life distractions, prior training experiences, as well as program training content, processes, and instruction, all play into the individual results, and consequently have a bearing on the program averages. The majority of these factors may be entirely uninfluenced by a residency program's training process. These issues limit the extent to which passing rates are a reflection of a program's training quality.

    Understanding the Report: Structure and Content
    Residency programs are listed in order by state. As with most Windows-based programs, any text in Adobe Acrobat can be located with the search function by hitting "F" while holding down the CTRL button. With the search function activated, program names, cities, and ACGME ID numbers can be located quickly.

    Although there are various ways of dividing up certification candidates to create an "average" description of a program, there are two categories in which most prospective residents will be interested. First, a program's former residents may be grouped by cohort, based on their year of graduation. This report includes the cohort passing numbers and percentages for each of the last five years. Secondly, because many residents graduate "off-cycle," that is, following the certification exam application deadline, they may take their first certification exam in a year following their graduation year. For this reason, the report also describes the passing numbers and rates of "First-Time Takers," which includes any examinees who have never previously taken the exam.

    The columns relevant to graduation year cohorts are numbered 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the report. They are indicated by the subtitle "New Grads." A specific description of the content of each column is listed as a footnote on each report page. The columns relevant to all "First-Time Takers" are numbered 5, 6, 7, and 8, and have labels indicating "First Taker."

    Lastly, if a program has only one resident taking the examination in either the New Grad category or the First-Time Taker category, then the passing rate and passing tally will not be shown to protect the individual's confidential test outcome.

    We appreciate your feedback on this report, which we believe will provide better service to Family Medicine Residency Programs. In turn, we hope that it will indirectly strengthen the field as a whole. For comments or questions, email

    Please click here to get the Residency Performance Report [2 MB].

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    NOTE: The Residency Performance Report is generally created once per year; however, it was updated on 5/5/2016 to reflect a program’s accurate resident data. As a result of revising the report, the national average number rounded down a single digit and a few other programs will see updated numbers based on residents who completed training after the initial report was created in January. If you have any questions about the report, please contact Kathy Banks at or 888-995-5700 x1295.

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