Continue Certification

Maintaining ABFM Board Certification emphasizes to your patients and the public that you are committed to a higher standard of care throughout your career.


Maintaining your board certification includes participating in the continuous certification process. This voluntary process emphasizes your commitment to staying up to date with medical advances through ongoing self-assessment and lifelong learning, practice improvement, continuous measurement of clinical knowledge, and by upholding the standards of professionalism – the social contract physicians make with their patients and society.

Family Medicine Certification


Designed to assess professional standing, board-certified family physicians are subject to compliance with the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct (Guidelines) and general adherence to professional standards.

Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning

Designed to help family physicians identify gaps in knowledge through participation in self-assessment activities, this component encourages the review of the most up-to-date clinical content.

Performance Improvement

Designed to support high-quality patient care, this component will help family physicians identify an improvement opportunity or a performance gap, implement a change in care delivery, and measure the impact of that change to their patients/practice.

Cognitive Expertise (Exam)

Designed to assess and measure clinical knowledge, the Family Medicine Certification Examination (one-day exam) and the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (longitudinal assessment) serve to assure the public that you are up-to-date and aware of the best practices in medical care across the wide spectrum of conditions treated by family physicians.

Continuous Certification Process

To maintain your board certification, you are required to participate in the continuous certification process, which consists of ongoing 3-year stages that are built on the same four foundational components of certification listed above.

​During each 3-year stage, you must continuously comply with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct and complete certification activities. Every 10 years, you are required to successfully complete the exam requirement by participating in either the longitudinal assessment or one-day exam to demonstrate your cognitive expertise.

  1. Certification Activities: Earn 50 certification points through Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement activities. Here’s how:
    • Earn 10 points by completing a minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment, or its equivalent.
    • Earn 20 points by completing a minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement activity.
    • Earn 20 points by completing additional Self-Assessment or Performance Improvement activities, or a variety of alternative activities to reach your 50-point total.
  2. Continuing Medical Education: Earn 150 Continuing Medical Education credits through ABFM activities and other organizations that issue AAFP or AMA approved CME.
  3. Professionalism and Licensure: Continuously comply with ABFM’s Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct, which includes maintaining a valid, active, and full license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada
  4. Certification Exam: Take and pass the one-day exam or the longitudinal assessment every 10 years.

For additional information and to view your requirements, please visit your MyABFM Portfolio.

Regaining Certification

To assist in regaining your board-certified status, we offer a three-year catch-up period to complete any outstanding requirements. If it has been more than three years since you were last board-certified, you will be required to complete the Certification Re-Entry Process to regain your certification.

For additional information and to view your specific requirements, please visit your MyABFM Portfolio or contact the ABFM Support Center at 877-223-7437.

NEW! ABFM Digital Credential Program

We’re excited to announce our new Digital Credential Program, which provides you with resources to display your board-certified status. Our Digital Credential Program is available to ABFM board-certified physicians who have met all requirements of the continuous certification process, which is listed above.

Learn More!