Maintenance of Certification

The Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) is a process provided by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) to give ABFM Diplomates the means to continually assess their skills and competency through a structured, multi-step process. The MC-FP consists of four components, each designed to assess important physician characteristics:

  • Part I - Professionalism
    Fulfillment of this component requires a currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada and continuous compliance with the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure and Personal Conduct.
     
  • Part II - Self-assessment and Lifelong Learning
    Fulfillment of this component requires completion of the required number of Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs) during the MC-FP cycle and completion of the required credits of Continuing Medical Education (CME).

    The MAFP Foundation offers annual SAM Group Study Workshops to simplify this part of the MC-FP process. Watch the Upcoming Events page for more information on when these workshops are offered, or contact MAFP Headquarters at 517.347.0098.
     
  • Part III - Cognitive Expertise
    Fulfillment of this component requires the successful completion of the MC-FP examination. A list of upcoming exams and deadlines can be found here.
     
  • Part IV - Performance in Practice
    Fulfillment of this component requires completion of the required number of Performance in Practice Modules (PPMs) during the MC-FP cycle.

For those physicians who successfully completed the examination in 2003-2010, the option to extend the original 7-year certificate to 10 years is available if the Diplomate completes his or her MC-FP requirements by specified deadlines; if deadlines are not met, the Diplomate will continue to be certified for seven years. Those physicians who successfully completed the examination in 2011 or beyond have a 10-year certificate.

Each certifying or re-certifying Diplomate is required to complete a series of three 3-year "stages" in the MC-FP process, and each 3-year stage has the same requirements:

  • A minimum of one Part II module (SAM)
  • A minimum of one Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative)
  • One additional Part II module or Part IV module
  • And, for those who completed the examination in 2011 and beyond, at least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules) per three year stage

In addition, each Diplomate must complete 300 CME credits in the six years leading up to the examination (for those who completed the examination in 2003-2010) or 150 CME credits every 3-year stage (for those who completed the examination in 2011 and beyond) PLUS maintain a currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada.

As long as a Diplomate continues to meet the requirements for each 3-year stage as listed above, the Diplomate will be listed as board-certified on the ABFM website.

For more information, visit ABFM Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians

Additional Resources for MC-FP