Initial Certification / Residency

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    Suspected Cheating

    American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Diplomates work hard to earn and maintain their certification. Activities that damage the integrity of the ABFM certification constitute a serious issue for all Diplomates. The certification examination is an important component of the certification process. Attempts to compromise the integrity of the ABFM certification process represent a serious ethical violation that could result in a candidate losing his or her certification and/or eligibility to become certified. Depending on the type of activity, other legal consequences are possible as well. Similarly, aiding another person in the compromise of the ABFM certification process is also a serious ethical violation.

    Candidates should be aware and understand that the disclosure of any information about examination materials—including the nature or content of examination items—before, during, or after the examination is a violation of law. Violations of confidentiality and/or candidate rules can result in criminal prosecution, civil liability, and disciplinary actions by both the ABFM and by the appropriate licensing board.

    ABFM examinations are administered under very standardized conditions, and strict security measures are in place. If you are aware of, or have observed, any attempt to compromise the ABFM examination process, please report it to the ABFM Test Security Group. Please provide as much detail as possible, and if you are comfortable doing so, please provide your contact information so that we may ask additional questions and, ultimately, respond in a timely and effective manner. Reports of suspected irregularities are taken seriously by ABFM and are appropriately investigated by the team.

    Please help us to maintain the integrity of ABFM certification by reporting any unscrupulous attempts to circumvent the examination, such as using proxy examinees, attempting to use cheat sheets, attempting to bring unauthorized materials into or out of the test center, and reproducing or communicating information about test questions.

    Incidents of suspicious behavior can be reported to the ABFM Test Security Group by:

    • Calling (859) 269-5626 ext. 4001
    • E-mailing 
    • Send a letter detailing the incident to:
      ABFM Security Group
      1648 McGrathiana Parkway Suite 550
      Lexington, KY. 40511-1247


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