AFP Authors' Guide

American Family Physician is a semimonthly, editorially independent, peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians. AFP’s chief objective is to provide high-quality continuing medical education for more than 190,000 family physicians and other primary care clinicians. The editors prefer original articles from experienced clinicians who write succinct, evidence-based, authoritative clinical reviews that will assist family physicians in patient care. AFP considers only manuscripts that are original, have not been published previously, and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Articles that demonstrate a family medicine perspective on and approach to a common clinical condition are particularly desirable.

Article Proposals

Authors are strongly encouraged to discuss their article ideas with the editor before beginning work on a manuscript. This step allows tailoring of the topic to AFP’s needs and prevents content overlap with recently published manuscripts or articles in preparation. Authors must be able to demonstrate expertise in their area of interest or manuscript topic. Clinical reviews, editorials, and other submissions with medical student or other student authors are not considered for publication. Exceptions to this policy are FPIN’s Clinical Inquiries and Help Desk Answers, and Photo Quiz, where students can be co-authors, and Letters to the Editor.  It is required that resident physicians, if involved with the manuscript, work with an experienced attending physician who should generally serve as first and corresponding author. We expect the experienced author to take the lead in evaluating the available evidence and writing the manuscript. An Author Credentialing Form(1 page PDF) should be completed and returned by the lead author when submitting an article proposal. We expect articles to be written by one to (at most) three authors. In our experience, including more than three authors leads to an uneven quality paper. Topic proposals should be submitted via email to with the words “Article Proposal for AFP Editor” in the subject heading.

Note: To avoid bias or the perception of bias, AFP will not consider manuscripts sponsored directly or indirectly by a pharmaceutical company, medical education company, or other commercial entity, or those written by an author who has a financial relationship with or interest in any commercial entity that may have an interest in the subject matter of the article within the previous 36 months or in the foreseeable future.