Continuing Certification

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    Longitudinal Assessment Examination Alternative Pilot Description

    In December 2018, the ABFM launched a pilot to study the feasibility and validity of an alternative to the 10-year examination, called Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA). Limited to Diplomates who are currently certified and are in the tenth year of certification due to end December 31, 2019, this approach is more aligned with adult learning principles, and when coupled with modern technology, promotes more enduring learning, retention, and transfer of knowledge than episodic examinations.

    In FMCLA:

    • you will be provided 25 questions online each quarter.
    • questions can be completed at the place and time of your choice
    • you may use clinical references during the assessment, much like you do in practice

    In order to complete FMCLA so that it satisfies your 2019 examination requirement, you will need to answer 300 questions over a four-year time period and achieve a passing score. Since the platform delivers 25 questions each quarter, FMCLA provides you with flexibility to complete the entire process in three years or extend to a maximum of four years. The FMCLA pilot program is designed to maintain the same high standards as the examination. The cut score for the longitudinal assessment will be just as rigorous as the one-day examination.

    Benefits of FMCLA:

    • it minimizes your time and expense spent in preparation for the examination and the inconvenience of the test center
    • it can be completed when and where is best for you – increased flexibility and less stress than is often associated with the 10-year examination
    • it provides you with immediate feedback after each response, with a critique explaining reasons for the right or wrong answers
    • references are provided with each item for further reading and learning
    • learning is more continuous, allowing you to immediately apply information to your practice
    • there is no additional cost – your certification fees remain the same as with the one-day examination
    • its built on an ABFM activity platform that has been successfully tested and is well-received

    Tutorial
    Click here to view the FMCLA Pilot Tutorial for the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment.

    Eligible Participants for the Pilot
    If you are currently certified and are in the tenth year of certification due to end December 31, 2019, you will be eligible to participate in the pilot. You have the choice at the time of application to select the one-day examination or the longitudinal assessment pilot.

    The pilot is designed to maintain a comparable, controlled cohort of participants for program analysis and logistical purposes. Data analysis from the pilot will provide insight for possible future expansion of participants.

    Meaningful Participation in Pilot Year One
    If you choose to participant in the longitudinal assessment pilot, it is important that you fully participate. Meaningfully participating by answering at least 80% of the questions in the first year and answering the pilot surveys is the only way that ABFM can generate the data and information necessary to evaluate the feasibility and validity of the assessment for the future. You will continue participating in the full 300-item assessment only if you meaningfully participate in year one.

    Longitudinal Assessment Content
    While participating in the longitudinal assessment, you will answer questions that are single-best-answer, multiple-choice questions about diagnosis, management, and prevention of illness, among other topics in the field of family medicine. You will have 5 minutes to answer each question. Following each question, you will receive immediate feedback including whether you answered the question correctly and a detailed item critique.

    The Longitudinal Assessment Plan Specifications [PDF, 188KB] provide the targeted percentage of questions you will receive in each content category over the 300 items.

    Application Dates – 2019  

    Online Application Available December 7, 2018
    Last Day to Complete Application and Have Full 3-Months to Answer the 1st Quarter Questions January 3, 2019
    First Deadline to Submit Online Application (no late fee assessed) January 25, 2019
    Final Deadline to Submit Online Application ($100 non-refundable late fee) March 1, 2019
    Deadline to Clear Pending Application Requirements March 15, 2019

    Answering Questions per Quarter
    The longitudinal assessment platform delivers 25 questions each quarter providing you with flexibility to complete the entire process in as little as three years or up to a maximum of four years. The below table lists the beginning and ending date for each quarter that you will have to answer your questions.

      2019 2020 2021 2022
    Quarter One January 4 – March 31 January 1 – March 31 January 1 – March 31 January 1 – March 31
    Quarter Two April 1 – June 30 April 1 – June 30 April 1 – June 30 April 1 – June 30
    Quarter Three July 1 – September 30 July 1 – September 30 July 1 – September 30 July 1 – September 30
    Quarter Four October 1 – December 31 October 1 – December 31 October 1 – December 31 October 1 – December 31

    Candidate Information Booklet
    The FMCLA Candidate Information Booklet is designed to provide you with a comprehensive description of the application process, the requirements, and policies pertaining to the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment pilot.

    2019 FMCLA Candidate Information Booklet:

    Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment — 2019 [506 KB]

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