Family Medicine Obstetrics: Board Certification Exam Overview

 Pregnant woman In face mask getting vaccinatedThe Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics® (BCFMO), which is governed by the American Board of Physician Specialties®, offers two options for certification—Family Medicine Obstetrics and Family Medicine Obstetrics With Surgical Qualification. Exams for the surgical option consist of a computer-based written test and an oral examination covering five case studies. The exam for the non-surgical option is the written test only. The written portion is offered at testing centers throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico once a year (May), while the oral exam is offered once annually (October) in Tampa, Florida.

The Written BCFMO Exam

The computer-based written exam is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions. The topics covered include:

  • Pre-conception
  • Prenatal care
  • Pregnancy complications (infectious disease, cardiopulmonary, endocrine, etc.)
  • Labor
  • Delivery
  • Postpartum
  • Neonatal care

Study references are available. A list can be found at this link.

The Oral BCFMO Exam

The oral exam covers five case studies, which reflect typical cases seen by Family Medicine Obstetrics specialists. Candidates are asked by ABPS-certified physicians to address case details in the following categories:

  • Patient history
  • Physical examination
  • Labs and tests
  • Management
  • Diagnosis
  • Disposition
  • Pathophysiology

Candidates must first pass the written exam and submit verification of competency to become eligible to take the oral portion. Candidates may attempt the written and oral portions three times to attain a passing score. If no passing score is achieved after three attempts, a candidate must reapply.

Eligibility Requirements for Certification With the BCFMO

To be eligible to apply for initial board certification with the BCFMO, an applicant must first satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada.

The BCFMO has its own eligibility requirements for the two pathways, which include:

  • Completing an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency in family medicine, or a family medicine residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).
  • Current board certification in family medicine granted by a Member Board of the ABPS, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the AOA, the RCPSC, or the CFPC.
  • The Family Medicine Obstetrics (non-surgical) certification requires a log of non-surgical deliveries and successful completion of the written certification exam.

The Family Medicine Obstetrics with Surgical Qualification certification requires completion of a 12-month, full-time BCFMO-approved fellowship in family medicine obstetrics, or five years ongoing clinical practice delivering obstetrical care, an additional log of cesarean deliveries, and successful completion of the written and oral exam.

To learn more about the BCFMO examination, or for information about eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®


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Emergency Medicine
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Integrative Medicine