About the BCFM’s Family Medicine  Exam for Board Certification

Doctor giving vaccine injection to elderly womanThe Board of Certification in Family Medicine (BCFM) is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), one of three nationally distinguished physician board certifying bodies. The examination offered by the BCFM is a clinically based, written test designed to allow a family medicine specialist to demonstrate his or her proficiency in the core competencies required to provide the finest care possible.

An outline of 33 Family Medicine subject areas covered on the certification examination is available here to help candidates prepare. Candidates should review this outline carefully and focus their study efforts accordingly. The percentage of questions drawn from a particular subject area conveys the relative importance of each area of the examination. The Family Medicine subject areas most represented are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Signs and symptoms of diseases

Each of these five Family Medicine subject areas are represented by nine or more questions on the exam. Candidates should be aware that the outline reflects the responses to practice-analysis questionnaires and enables codification of the examination for subsequent analysis of the results. Each question is linked to a specific area of the outline. No question is meant to be obscure or tricky. The information in the outline is meant to serve as a study aid only, and not as a guarantee of success in taking the certification examination.

A list of study guides, with primary and secondary references, also is available in PDF form by clicking here.

Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for a period of eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.

Recertification in family medicine requires documentation of the required number of Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours, completion of the recertification application, and successful completion of the written recertification examination.

What to Expect After Earning Certification With the BCFM

Certification with the BCFM brings many benefits. First, Diplomates are members of a distinguished community of like-minded professionals committed to offering the highest standard of patient care. That they are widely viewed as leaders in their fields is not surprising. Certification with the BCFM also:

  • Makes physicians more marketable to potential employers
  • Enables physicians to gain opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to increased earning potential
  • Fosters recognition and respect from medical colleagues
  • Gives doctors a meaningful voice as valued members of the healthcare community

To learn more about the Family Medicine certification exam offered by the BCFM and the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), contact us today. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine