New things to know for your Maintenance of Certification

Tags: american board of family medicine, maintenance of certification, family physician

As TAFP faculty and staff travel to San Antonio and Lubbock to present two SAM Group Study Workshops tomorrow, it brings to mind a few changes to the ABFM Maintenance of Certification process that all diplomates should know about.

First, ABFM has changed the requirements for the Performance In Practice Module, which satisfies Part IV of the MC-FP process. PPM involves a physician assessment of 10 patients using evidence-based quality indicators. The physician enters the data into the ABFM website and ABFM provides feedback on each indicator. The physician chooses an indicator and designs a quality improvement plan, submits the plan to ABFM, and puts the plan into action.

Here’s where the change comes in. Previously, the physician had to wait 90 days before assessing the care provided to 10 patients in the chosen health area; now this period is just one week. ABFM says shortening the time between implementation and assessment should make it easier for physicians to complete their improvement project.

Second, beginning in 2012, the ABFM MC-FP examination will be held in April instead of July.  The dates for the April 2012 exam are April 6-7, 9-13, 16-19, and 21. The exam will also be offered in November for candidates who fail the spring exam, or for residents in good standing who are off-cycle and expected to complete training on or about Dec. 31, 2012. The dates for the November 2012 exam are November 7- 10.

And third, ABFM recently implemented “continuous MC-FP,” which completely removes the 7-year certification option. All family physicians who certified in 2011 or recertify in future years will enter the 10-year track. MC-FP rules now require the successful completion of each 3-year stage, which all have the same requirements.

  • A minimum of 1 Part II module (SAM) – most worth 15 points
  • A minimum of 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative) – most worth 20 points
  • One additional Part II module or Part IV module
  • At least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules) per three year stage
  • 150 CME credits and a currently valid, full, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada

For more information, go to the ABFM website at For additional resources for fulfilling the ABFM Maintenance of Certification requirements, go to TAFP’s website,

– kalfano

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