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Family Medicine  Eligibility

To be eligible for certification in Family Medicine through the Board of Certification in Family Medicine (BCFM), the applicant must:

  1. Submit a Family Medicine application form complete with required application processing fee, two (2) passport-size photographs taken within the last 90 days, and a notarized signature.
  2. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession, and be an active specialist in Family Medicine.
  3. Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine confirmed by a copy of an allopathic/osteopathic degree or a letter of verification from the institution where the degree was earned. In the case of foreign medical schools, an English translation of the document is also required. Graduates of foreign medical schools must also include a copy of their Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate. Canadian medical schools and medical training programs are considered equivalent to U.S. medical schools and medical training programs.
  4. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  5. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order.
  6. Be qualified under one of the following:
    1. Have completed an Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency in Family Medicine.
    2. Osteopathic physicians – Have successfully completed an AOA-approved internship, plus an AOA-approved General Practice residency and have a minimum of two (2) years full-time experience in Family Medicine and 300 hours of CME acceptable to the BCFP. AAPS CME form must be used, to view click here. (Form is included with the application materials.)
  7. Submit three (3) letters of recommendation from Diplomates of an ABPS, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or AOA-recognized board of certification. All letters of recommendation must be printed on letterhead, must be dated within the twelve months prior to the submission of the application, and must include an original signature, author contact information for the author, and should indicate the board certification(s) held by the author. Copies are not acceptable. These letters do not need to be mailed directly to ABPS, but can be included with the applicant’s materials and certification application.
  8. Submit a documented report of a minimum of ten (10) Family Medicine cases for which the physician had the lead management role (see Case Report requirements outlined below). The case reports must be no older than twelve (12) months from the date the candidate’s application for certification is received by ABPS.
  9. U.S. physicians must do a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit a sealed (unopened envelope) copy of the report as part of the application process. For information on performing a self-query of the Bank, go to the website All Canadian physicians must request and submit a testament statement from each province in which a license is held, verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
  10. Sign and submit the ABPS Disclosure and Authorization to obtain Criminal Background Reports form.
  11. Sign and submit the ABPS Examinations Complaints and Appeals Process form.
  12. Payment of appropriate fees. To view the fee schedule, click here.

The BCFM recommends that the applicant keep a copy of all application documents submitted to the AAPS.

Case Report Requirements

The applicant must submit two (2) separately compiled copies of ten (10) case reports in the following format:

  1. Case # (1-10)
  2. Date of the case
  3. Admitting diagnosis
  4. Final diagnosis
  5. Presenting Complaint
  6. History
    1. History of present complaint
    2. Pertinent past medical, family and social history
  7. Pertinent physical and laboratory findings
  8. Medical decision making
  9. Treatment and follow-up
  10. Summarization

NOTE: Summarization of the important facts regarding the case acts as the most essential part of the case report and must describe the case in such a manner as to convey to the BCFM Credentials Committee the applicant’s understanding of the medical issues regarding the diagnosis, care, potential pitfalls and clinical relevance of the conditions and results obtained.

  1. Case reports must be typewritten. Photocopies of typewritten case reports are acceptable.
  2. Case reports must be double-spaced on standard 8.5″ x 11″ white paper.
  3. Case reports must be compiled in a report style cover, or a three-ringed notebook.
  4. The applicant must sign each case report.
  5. An index shall be placed at the front of the reports indicating the type of case (diagnosis) and the page number on which the case can be found. To view sample index and verification form, click here.
  6. Confirmation of the validity of the reports by hospital administrator, medical records director, or whoever performs such duties at the facility. This must be on official letterhead verifying that you were the physician treating the patient in each case on the date stated. If the applicant’s cases reflect work at more than one institution, then separate letters must be submitted verifying the cases from each institution. This validation must be notarized and signed. (Refer to sample index/verification form.)

Case reports must be carefully prepared as they are subjected to detailed scrutiny. Reports should be accurate, well written, diversified, and properly descriptive. The BCFM Credentials Committee reserves the right to seek additional details for any case it deems necessary. If they are not submitted in the format above they will be returned resulting in an incomplete file.