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    "We all want the best for our families. And I want to know their care-givers have to comply with certain standards."
    —Anonymous Survey Participant


    "It's a level of trust that comes with being a board-certified family physician. It also lets me know that our physician takes their job seriously." —Anonymous Survey Participant

    Board-certified family physicians voluntarily meet additional standards beyond basic licensing. They demonstrate their expertise by earning Board Certification through the ABFM. Before a doctor can become board-certified, each must complete: four years of premedical education in a college or university; a course of study leading to an MD or DO degree from a qualified medical school and three years of full-time experience in an accredited residency training program.

    Board certification is a meaningful indicator that a doctor has the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to provide high-quality patient care. Although board certification is voluntary, ABFM certification is recognized throughout the world as signifying excellence in the practice of Family Medicine.

    To practice medicine in the United States, doctors must be licensed by the states in which they work. However, being licensed does not indicate whether a doctor is qualified to practice in a specific medical specialty. One of the best ways to know if your doctor has the qualifications to provide care in a specialty is to find out if he or she is board-certified and participating in activities to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in medicine and patient care.

    Each board-certified family physician earns initial Board Certification by passing a written examination created and administered by the American Board of Family Medicine. This is just the first step in the career-long learning and assessment process required by the rigorous ABFM Family Medicine Certification (FMC) program. To maintain Board Certification, a family physician must actively keep pace with the latest advances in his or her specialty and demonstrate best practices for patient safety, communications and ethics.

    Board-certified family physicians have demonstrated the ability and the commitment to lifelong learning, which is necessary to provide the high quality care that every patient deserves.

    ABFM Certification requirements include:

    • Completion of the required medical education
    • Completion of required training in an accredited residency or fellowship program
    • Assessment and documentation of individual performance from the residency or fellowship training director or from the chief of service in the hospital where the specialist practices
    • An unrestricted license to practice medicine
    • Passing a secure, computer-based certification examination

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