Family Medicine  Board Certification from the American Board of Physician Specialties

Family Practice BoardOsteopathic and allopathic physicians from the United States and Canada are eligible to apply for family medicine board certification from the Board of Certification in Family Medicine (BCFM) under the management and governance of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). Certification through the BCFM allows physicians to demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge and skill in the core competencies necessary to practice family medicine.

In addition, family medicine board certification through the BCFM demonstrates a physician’s professional commitment to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics. Among other standards of conduct, this entails:

  • Maintaining the highest standard of personal conduct
  • Promoting and encouraging the highest level of medical ethics in medicine
  • Maintaining loyalty to the goals and objectives of the American Board of Physician Specialties
  • Recognizing and discharging the responsibility of the profession to uphold the laws and regulations relating to the practice of medicine
  • Striving for excellence in all aspects of a medical practice
  • Using only legal and ethical means in the provision of care to patients
  • Providing patient care impartially; providing no special privilege to any individual patient based on the patient’s race, color, creed, sex, national origin or handicap
  • Accepting no personal compensation from any party that would influence or require special consideration in the provision of care to any patient
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of privileged information
  • Cooperating in every reasonable and proper way with other physicians and work with them in the advancement of quality patient care
  • Using every opportunity to improve public understanding of the role of the specialist physician
  • Abiding by the highest ethical standards in activities designed to attract patients

Eligibility Requirements of the BCFM

The family medicine board certification exam is a written examination, with multiple-choice, single-response questions. Diplomates of the BCFM develop and validate the exam questions under the direction of psychometric consultants and the ABPS, which is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. While most Canadian and American family practitioners are eligible to apply, there are other eligibility requirements, as well. One of the following qualifications must be met:

  • Completion of an ACGME-, AOA-, or CFPC-accredited residency in Family Medicine
  • Osteopathic physicians with an AOA-approved internship, plus an AOA-approved general practice residency with a minimum of two years of full-time experience in family practice and 300 hours of CME that is deemed acceptable by the BCFM

A Unique Opportunity for Family Doctors With Emergency Care Experience

In rural and other underserved areas, the shortage of emergency physicians is particularly severe, and emergency departments have relied heavily on doctors with family medicine training. These physicians are well-suited to providing emergency services, as they are accustomed to treating patients regardless of age, gender, and medical condition. However, family doctors working in ERs are often not granted the same level of professional respect as colleagues with residency training in emergency medicine.

Fortunately, family physicians with extensive ER experience can seek certification in emergency medicine with the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), a Member Board of the ABPS. Family medicine doctors who have at least five years and 7,000 hours of ER casework, and those who have completed graduate training in an emergency medicine fellowship approved by the American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP) are eligible to apply to the BCEM. Earning BCEM certification is a challenging process, but family physicians who meet the eligibility criteria and pass the rigorous testing will be rewarded with credible proof that they have the knowledge and expertise to provide exceptional emergency care in virtually any environment, whether urban or rural.

For more information about the eligibility requirements for family medicine board certification with the ABPS, or to apply for the exam, contact us today.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine