A component of your continuous certification requirement is related to participation in continuing medical education (CME). Since the inception of board certification, this has involved a requirement of an average of 50 CME credits annually. A minimum of half of these need to be from activities leading to Division I credits (refer to ABFM CME Requirements below).
Translated into your individual certification stage, the following credit requirements apply:
- If you last certified in, or after 2011, you will need to submit 150 hours (average of 50 per year) of CME credit in each three-year stage prior to applying for the examination.
- If you last certified between 2006–2010, you will need to submit 300 hours (average of 50 per year) of CME during the six calendar years prior to applying for the examination.
- If you are initially certifying and completed your residency more than three years ago, you will need to participate in the Certification Entry Process. This requires submission of 150 hours of CME (average of 50 per year) during the three calendar years prior to applying for the examination.
- If you were previously certified and your certification has lapsed for a period of more than three years, you will need to participate in the Certification Re-Entry Process. This requires submission of 150 hours of CME (average of 50 per year) during the three calendar years prior to applying for the examination.
All CME credits are subject to final approval by the ABFM. You may verify your CME either through membership in the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) or by manual entry of your credits on the ABFM website.
Log into your Physician Portfolio to record your CME credits.
A minimum of 50% of the total required CME must be met by the following types of CME experiences (items E and F pertain only to residents in formal training).
- A- Scientific sessions provided by medical schools approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- B- CME conferences or workshops carrying AMA Category I CME or AAFP prescribed CME credit
- C- Multimedia or home study correspondence courses with examinations that qualify for AMA Category I CME or AAFP prescribed CME credit upon completion
- D- Scientific portions of hospital meetings, county medical society meetings, or grand rounds may occasionally be approved with documentation from the sponsoring organization listing the specific title, date, location, and number of credits
- E- Full-time status in an accredited Family Medicine residency, a mini residency, or a fellowship in Family Medicine may lead to receipt of maximum of 10 credits per week toward the CME requirement
- F- Full-time status in an accredited residency or fellowship program in a discipline other than Family Medicine may be eligible for up to 15 CME credits per quarter, not to exceed 50 credits per year, to a maximum of 150 credits
- G- Other CME activities carrying AMA Category I CME or AAFP prescribed CME credit, such as documented point of care learning, participation in quality improvement projects, etc.
- H- An educational program of a university or college having a defined curriculum, designated faculty, and accreditation from a recognized institutional accrediting organization or an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, that is designed to enhance a participant's instructional, research, administrative, or clinical knowledge and skills necessary for professional development as an educator, administrator, or clinician in Family Medicine. Fifty (50) CME credits per year, on an hour-for-hour contact basis, to a maximum of 90 credits, may be received.
- I- Full or part-time faculty development fellowships offered by ACGME-accredited residency programs leading to a post-graduate degree or certificate that prepares physicians for future faculty positions in academic medicine, or provides ongoing professional development for current faculty, may receive CME credit on an hour-for-hour contact basis to a maximum of 90 credits.
- J- Members of a self-assessment activity Knowledge Development Team for Family Medicine Certification may receive AMA Category I CME or AAFP prescribed CME credit as approved by the respective organizations
A maximum of 50% of the total required CME may be composed of the following four areas.
- A- Teaching medical students and/or other physicians
- B- Individual medically-related educational activities not formally accredited may be claimed as follows:
- Use of audiotapes, videotapes, films, sound slides, etc.
- Participation in telephone, television, radio networks
- Programmed medical materials such as teaching machines, computer programs
- Medical reading and journal club participation
- C- Review of manuscripts for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal
- D- Publication of a review or research article in a peer-reviewed medical journal may receive 10 credits per article
e.g., The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
e.g., Council on Education for Public Health [CEPH]