Family Medicine Certification

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) certification process provides an avenue for family physicians to demonstrate their current competency, commitment to high quality care, and professionalism to their patients, the public, and colleagues. Patients highly value knowing their physician is board-certified. 

Family Medicine Certification (FMC) is a credential beyond state licensure. It is a continuous voluntary process emphasizing the importance of ongoing participation in activities that evaluate professionalism, self-assessment and lifelong learning, cognitive expertise, and performance improvement, with a goal of maintaining clinical excellence that benefits both the physician and their patients.

Continuous Certification Process

  • To maintain certification, you will need to complete all requirements of the Continuous Certification Process.
  • This process is divided into continuous 3-year stages, with an examination every 10 years.
  • Within each stage, there are minimum requirements for Knowledge Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement activities, as well as total points and CME credits.
  • Every 10 years, you may choose to either take the one-day examination or participate in the alternative Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) method for demonstrating cognitive expertise.
  • Additionally, you must always remain in compliance with ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct.

ABFM recommends that you participate in at least one certification activity per year to say current with your certification. However, because that’s not always possible, there is flexibility built into the process and the required activities may be completed at any time during each three-year stage.


Knowledge Self Assessments

To help family physician members of MAFP earn ABFM certification points, our philanthropic arm, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan, hosts Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) study groups throughout the year. KSAs are focused on evaluating and enhancing your knowledge base in a particular topic area common to family medicine.

KSA Topics AvailableKSA Study Groups Sessions Hosted by MAFP / FMFM  |   FAQs

Interested in serving as a KSA facilitator/moderator for MAFP / Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan?
Email MAFP Meeting Planner Denna Bunting at [email protected].


Maintenance of Certification - Michigan Law

In December 2018, the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed a two-bill package into law (Public Act 486 and 487) that prohibits specialty certification as a requirement for family physicians, internists, and pediatricians earning or renewing medical licensure in Michigan. It also prohibits insurers from withholding reimbursement based solely on specialty board certification. However, should a physician seek an expedited license to practice in multiple states through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which Michigan entered into through legislation passed and signed into law in December 2018 (Public Acts 563 and 524), the physician would be required to maintain specialty board certiciation.