Family Medicine Certification

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) certification process provides an avenue for family physicians to demonstrate current competency, commitment to high quality care, and professionalism to their patients, the public, and colleagues. Patients highly value knowing that 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 Family Medicine Certification is divided into three-year stages, with an examination every 10 years.


Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment

ABFP's Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) pilot is an alternative to the one-day family medicine certification examination. The pilot evaluation will be conducted over several years to collect feedback and data used for continuous improvement of the process. Family physicians who are currently certified and have their 10-year examination requirement due in 2021 now have th option to select participation in FMCLA beginning in January 2021.


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.