This month, three groups of family physicians certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, or ABFM, have important deadlines to meet to comply with requirements of the ABFM's Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians(www.theabfm.org), or MC-FP. The groups are ABFM diplomates who certified or recertified in 2005 and chose the 10-year certification path, those who certified or recertified the same year but chose the seven-year certification path, and those who certified or recertified in 2008 and who wish to remain on the 10-year certification path.
Beginning in 2012, the American Board of Family Medicine's Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians, or MC-FP, examination will be held in April(www.theabfm.org) rather than July. Dates for the April 2012 exam are April 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21, with results due back June 21. Test center information is available online(www.theabfm.org).
Residents who are in good standing and who expect to complete training on or about June 30, 2012, are eligible to take the April 2012 exam. A currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada is not required for residents to apply for and take the exam.
The exam will be offered again in November for candidates who do not pass the spring exam or for residents in good standing who are off-cycle and who expect to complete training on or about Dec. 31, 2012.
The dates for the November exam are Nov. 7, 8, 9 and 10.
According to Robert Cattoi, ABFM manager of communications, diplomates in the first group must complete MC-FP stage two by Dec. 31 of this year. The three-year certification extension will be awarded when stage two has been successfully completed, assuming that the diplomate has a full, valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada on Dec. 31.
Diplomates who certified or recertified in 2005 and who are currently on the seven-year certification path must complete the MC-FP requirements for that seven-year cycle before the application for the next recertification exam can be completed, said Cattoi.
Diplomates may begin the application process, but they may not complete the application and choose their test center until MC-FP requirements are met. The application(www.theabfm.org) for the 2012 recertification exam is now available at the ABFM website.
Diplomates who certified or recertified in 2008 and who wish to remain on the 10-year certification path must complete MC-FP stage one by Dec. 31 of this year, Cattoi said. A three-year extension to the certificate will be awarded when stage two is successfully completed.
All candidates for recertification must complete MC-FP Part II (self-assessment) and Part IV (performance-in-practice or an approved alternative) modules.
ABFM diplomates can check their MC-FP status by visiting "Track Your Progress(portfolio.theabfm.org)" (login is required) within their Physician Portfolio or by contacting the ABFM Support Center by phone at (877) 223-7437 or by e-mail.