Initial Certification / Residency

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    Recertification Policies

    The American Board of Family Medicine requires periodic recertification to maintain Diplomate status. Although certificates are dated for a 7-year period, candidates who meet MC-FP requirements won’t need to sit for their exam until the 9th or 10th year. The ABFM also now offers a November exam for any candidate who is not successful on the April exam, thereby providing Diplomates an additional opportunity to avoid expiration of their Diplomate status. Should a Diplomate not be recertified by the expiration date of their current certificate, for whatever reason, the certificate expires and the physician loses Diplomate status with this Board. The physician may reapply at a future time for the MC-FP process, but must meet all the criteria in effect at that time.

    To be recertified, each candidate must submit an online application with appropriate fees, verify the completion of 300 credits of acceptable continuing medical education over the past six years, submit evidence of a permanent, unconditional, unrestricted, and unexpired medical license in the state or territory of practice, and pass the cognitive examination. No Diplomate will be permitted to take the cognitive examination until he or she has satisfactorily met all requirements of the MC-FP process.

    Please note that all Diplomates who recertified in 2003 or later are expected to comply with the Maintenance of Certification Program for Family Physicians (MC-FP). Diplomates will be phased into the program as they certify or recertify. It is important that Diplomates maintain current contact information in their Physician Portfolio. Failure to do so may result in delay of important information about Diplomate status.

    Formal Application
    Recertification applications are available on our website in the Physician Portfolio. Physicians who are due to apply for the April exam will be notified in late December or early January with specifics on how and when to apply. It is important that all Diplomates keep their postal address as well as a current email address on file in order to receive this communication. The deadlines will also be posted on our website under Important Dates.


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