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The BCFM Offers Family Medicine Physicians a Recognized Choice for Board Certification

The BCFM Offers Family Medicine Physicians a Recognized Choice for Board CertificationThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) as one of three nationally distinguished physician board certifying bodies. The Board of Certification in Family Medicine (BCFM), a Member Board of the ABPS, offers qualified and experienced family medicine physicians an opportunity to demonstrate their range of expertise through board certification in family medicine.

While the eligibility requirements for physicians seeking board certification varies from one specialty to the next, there are a number of prerequisites common to all Member Boards of the ABPS. These include an unrestricted medical license for every state in which the physician is licensed, proof that these licenses are current, adherence to the ABPS Code of Ethics, and a prescribed amount of experience in the physician’s chosen specialty.

Separately, the BCFM requires doctors seeking family medicine certification to have completed a family medicine residency approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The ABPS also recognizes family medicine residencies accepted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Further, applicants must submit at least 10 documented reports for family medicine cases in which they assumed the lead role during the 12-month period prior to applying with the BCFM. Case reports are required, and they must include:

  • Complaint
  • History
  • Admitting diagnosis
  • Physical and lab findings
  • Final diagnosis
  • Summary of important facts, including diagnosis, care, and final results

The BCFM offers a clinically-based, written exam that gives physicians a chance to demonstrate proficiency in the core competencies required to provide comprehensive care in family medicine. The exam covers 33 family medicine subject areas, with cardiovascular diseases, dermatology, geriatrics, pediatrics, and signs and symptoms of diseases being the areas most represented on the exam. Current Diplomates of the ABMS and the AOA are eligible to recertify with the ABPS.

If you are a family medicine physician researching board certification options and would like more information about the BCFM’s eligibility requirements, or helpful details on how to prepare for the certification exam, contact the ABPS today.