Once issued, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) retains the right to revoke certification in the event a Diplomate is found to be in noncompliance with the Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct (hereafter "Guidelines").  Generally, the Guidelines impose requirements relative to the expectation of a physician's personal conduct, medical licensure, and general adherence to the standards of professionalism.

Other than to confirm a physician’s certification status, to discuss any withdrawal of certification, the ABFM must have expressed written consent directly from the physician.

Although you will find the specific requirements in the Guidelines, Family Medicine Certification requires adherence to the following:


This component emphasizes the importance of demonstrating moral, ethical, professional, and competent behavior. A physician may be deemed in violation of the Guidelines if he/she has misrepresented ABFM Diplomate or Board Eligibility status, or if he/she has been involved in fraudulent activity, cheating or attempting to subvert an ABFM Family Medicine Certification Examination. For a more detailed description of the professionalism requirement, see the Guidelines.


Family Medicine Certification requires each Diplomate hold a medical license in continuous compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct which includes holding medical license(s) which meet the licensure requirements of the Guidelines.  This applies to any location in which the physician currently holds or previously held a medical license, regardless of whether he/she is practicing in the state, territory, or province. For all details related to the licensure requirement, a complete review of the Guidelines is advised.

Personal Conduct

As stated in the Guidelines, physicians must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, and be responsible for maintaining respect for the law. Violations of Personal Conduct requirements are determined based upon criminal and/or related conduct and failure to timely and properly respond to ABFM inquiries. For a more detailed description of the personal conduct requirement, see the Guidelines.