Continuing Certification

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    Requirements for Diplomates who Certified or Recertified Since 2011

    Any physician who successfully completes the examination in 2011 or thereafter will enter the continuous Family Medicine Certification process, which requires each physician to successfully complete requirements in order to maintain certification. Diplomates certifying in 2011 and beyond will all have a 10-year examination requirement, a simplified financial plan, and flexibility with the activity requirements. Family Medicine Certification rules now require participation thresholds to be met in 3-year stages. The printed certificate provided to physicians will not have an end date; however, requirements must be maintained in order for certification to continue. Certification status will be contingent upon meeting these requirements within each 3-year stage deadline.

    Each 3-year stage will have the same requirements:

    • Minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Activities
    • Minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement Activity (PPM or approved alternative)
    • Minimum of 50 Family Medicine Certification Points from the Completion of Self-Assessment and/or Performance Improvement Activities

    In addition, each Diplomate must complete 150 CME credits every 3-year stage and continuously maintain a currently valid, full, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada with continuous compliance of the ABFM Guidelines.

    As long as a Diplomate continues to meet these requirements in each 3-year stage, the Diplomate will be listed as board-certified on the ABFM website. If a Diplomate fails to meet a requirement by the specified deadline, the Diplomate will be listed as "not certified" and certificate "withdrawn" on the ABFM website. A Diplomate has three years (after becoming "not certified") to regain their certification status by completing the required Family Medicine Certification activities. Once the delinquent requirement(s) are completed, the Diplomate will again be listed as board-certified, although a break in certification history will be listed permanently on the ABFM website.

    If a Diplomate does not meet the current 3-year stage requirements, and does not complete all previously delinquent activities in the next 3-year stage, the Diplomate will be required to complete the Certification Re-Entry Process (which will include successfully completing the Family Medicine Certification Examination).

    The Re-Entry Process requires:

    • Certification Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement Activities:
      • Minimum of one (1) Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Activities
      • Minimum of one (1) Performance Improvement Activity (PPM or approved alternative)
      • Minimum of 50 Family Medicine Certification Points from the Completion of Self-Assessment and/or Performance Improvement Activities
    • Completion of one hundred fifty (150) credits of acceptable CME (minimum 50% Division I), acquired in last three (3) years
    • Compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct which includes holding a currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada
    • Submission of Certification Re-Entry Process
    • Submission of application and accompanying full examination fee for the Family Medicine Certification Examination
    • Successful completion of the Family Medicine Certification Examination

    For more specific information regarding ABFM Family Medicine Certification requirements, please login to your Physician Portfolio.