Continuing Certification

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    Examination Content

    The Test Plan Specifications [PDF] for the current 2017 Family Medicine Certification Examination provide the targeted percentage of questions in each content category on the core portion of the examination.


    Examination Module Descriptions

    Listed below are the eight exam module choices to select from during the Family Medicine Certification examination and a description of the content in each content-specific module (e.g., Ambulatory Family Medicine, Care of Children and Adolescents).

    Ambulatory Family Medicine

    This module covers office-based care of patients of all ages. Conditions covered may include both acute and chronic disease, common office emergencies (such as anaphylaxis, chest pain), minor trauma, psychosocial and behavioral issues, and preventive care. Management of patients with multiple problems, family dynamics, clinician-patient communication, and working with other members of the health care team may also be included.

    Child and Adolescent Care

    This module covers acute and chronic diseases, developmental issues, and preventive care, including screening and immunization. Possible topics include infectious diseases, normal and abnormal growth and development, congenital problems, psychological and psychosocial issues, dehydration, obesity, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis. Problems of infants (such as failure to thrive, hyperbilirubinemia, and feeding problems) may also be included. The age range is from newborn to age 21.

    Geriatrics

    This module covers problems and diseases in the population over 65. Some of these may not be specific to this age group, but may require a change in approach in the older patient. Possible topics include infectious diseases commonly seen in the elderly, such as pneumonia; chronic problems such as osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease; normal aging; nursing-home care; psychiatric issues such as dementia and delirium; and preventive care, including screening and patient education about nutrition, exercise, and fall prevention. Functional assessment, pain management, and end-of-life issues will also be covered.

    Women’s Health

    This module covers problems and conditions specific to women, excluding pregnancy. Examples include menstrual disorders, contraception, and STDs; reproductive and breast cancers; conditions most commonly seen in women, such as osteoporosis and eating disorders; and preventive care, including screening and patient education. Behavioral issues such as abuse may also be included.

    Maternity Care

    This module covers prenatal care, antepartum care, and postpartum care. It does not include the management of high-risk pregnancy, but may include the management of acute and chronic disease in pregnant women. Topics covered include such things as screening, nutrition, management of labor and delivery, complications of pregnancy, and key concepts of advanced life support in obstetrics. Selected neonatal problems such as ABO incompatibility and neonatal resuscitation may also be covered.

    Emergent/Urgent Care

    This module covers conditions in patients of all ages that require prompt immediate attention, such as those seen in urgent or emergency care settings. Both major and minor conditions will be included. Assessment, triage, stabilization, and disposition of acute medical and surgical problems will be evaluated. Conditions may include musculoskeletal trauma; lacerations; cardiac and respiratory distress; assessment of acute exacerbations of chronic disease, such as asthma attacks or diabetic ketoacidosis; cardiac problems; and conditions with environmental etiologies, such as heat, cold, or toxins.

    Hospital Medicine

    This module covers inpatient care of conditions requiring hospitalization. Topics may include infectious diseases such as sepsis; pre-operative and postsurgical care; myocardial infarction/acute coronary syndromes/unstable angina; stroke; fluid management; and management of patients with multiple comorbidities. Questions may also assess coordination of care with other members of the health care team and discharge management. Advanced ICU/CCU care (ventilator and Swan-Ganz catheter management) will not be covered.

    Sports Medicine

    This module covers issues related to participation in sports and exercise, by both competitive and recreational athletes of school age and older. It does not include care of elite athletes such as Olympic athletes, professional athletes, or members of NCAA Division I sports teams. It includes the management of trauma due to acute injury or overuse; preparticipation evaluation of both recreational and competitive athletes, as well as individuals engaging in exercise for health reasons; nutrition; physiology and biomechanics; and benefits of exercise for prevention and management of disease.

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