Recognition of Focused Practice

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    Recognition of Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (RFPHM)

    The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), in conjunction with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), now offers a Recognition of Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (RFPHM) program. This program has been developed in response to the growing number of ABFM-certified family physicians who are primarily caring for patients in a hospital setting.

    The program assesses, sets standards for, and recognizes the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes of family physicians who focus their practice on the care of hospitalized patients. Family physicians must be maintaining their current family medicine certification at all times in order to apply for and maintain this recognition. To receive the recognition, a physician must successfully complete the examination process and fulfill the educational requirements listed below. Once both of these requirements are complete, the physician will then receive appropriate recognition on the ABFM Website.

    Examination Prerequisites

    • Current primary certification in family medicine
    • The Diplomate must hold an active, valid, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in any state or territory of the United States or any province of Canada and be in continuous compliance with the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct
    • Verification of at least 3 years of unsupervised hospital medicine practice experience in the United States or Canada that fully meets the requirements of one of the qualifying pathways:
      • Direct Patient Care Pathway (i.e., full-time hospital practice): Requires that the Diplomate demonstrate having spent at least 3 years of unsupervised hospital medicine practice experience in the United States or Canada that meets the following criteria:
        • a minimum of 1,000 hospital patient encounters (limited to one encounter per patient per day) per year in the last 3 years, or 3,000 encounters in the last 3 years
        • submission of Hospital Practice Verification Form signed by supervisor at hospital(s) to attest to 3,000 hospital patient encounters in the last 3 years
        OR
      • Clinical /Systems Pathway (i.e., full-time hospital medicine professional activity with part-time hospital practice): Requires that the Diplomate demonstrates having spent at least 3 years of unsupervised hospital medicine practice experience in the United States or Canada that meets the following criteria:
        • a minimum of 250 hospital patient encounters (limited to one encounter per patient per day) per year in the last 3 years, or 750 encounters in the last 3 years
        • the encounters must comprise at least 75% of total clinical activity and
        • at least 50% of the remaining non-clinical professional time must be directed toward improving the care of hospitalized patients
    • Attestation by the Diplomate and a senior hospital officer at the practicing hospital verifying active clinical practice in the hospital setting, including the required patient encounters, within a given time period

    Educational Requirements  

    • Completion of six hospital medicine related activities in the last 10 years, of which four activities must have been completed in the last 3 years and one must have been a Performance Improvement (PI) activity
    • Approved hospital medicine activities include:

      • Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Activities
        • Asthma KSA
        • Cerebrovascular KSA
        • Coronary Artery Disease KSA
        • Diabetes KSA
        • Heart Failure KSA
        • Hospital Medicine KSA
        • Hypertension KSA
        • Pain Management KSA
      • Performance Improvement (PI) Activities
        • Asthma PI Activity
        • Coronary Artery Disease PI Activity
        • Diabetes PI Activity
        • Heart Failure PI Activity
        • Hypertension PI Activity
        • Information Management Methods in Medicine Module
        • AAFP METRIC—Diabetes
        • AAFP METRIC—Asthma
        • AAFP METRIC—Coronary Artery Disease
        • AAFP METRIC—Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
        • AAFP METRIC—Hypertension
        • ABMS Patient Safety Improvement Program
        • Cultural Competency Methods in Medicine Module
        • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Physician Recognition Program—Diabetes
        • NCQA Heart Stroke Physician Recognition Program
        • Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) module—Managing Childhood Asthma in Primary Care
        • American College of Physicians (ACP) modules—ACOVEprime and Closing the Gap: Diabetes Care and Cardiovascular Risk
        • Novant Health module—Ambulatory Care Diabetes Performance Improvement CME
        • The Permanente Federation (TPF) Adult Medicine Continued Quality Improvement
      • RFPHM CSA Activities
        • Asthma CSA
        • Cerebrovascular CSA
        • Coronary Artery Disease CSA
        • Diabetes CSA
        • Heart Failure CSA
        • Hospital Medicine CSA
        • Hypertension CSA
        • Pain Management CSA

    Important Dates

       Recognition of Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine

    2017 Candidate Information Booklet

       RFPHM Candidate Information Booklet [405 KB]
       Examination Blueprint [183 KB]

    2018 Candidate Information Booklet

       RFPHM Candidate Information Booklet [167 KB]


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