FPM Authors Guide

How to contact us

Telephone: 800-274-2237 or 913-906-6204
Mail: 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy. Leawood, KS 66211-2672

FPM is an editorially independent, peer-reviewed journal published six times per year by the American Academy of Family Physicians. FPM aims to give family physicians the tools and information they need to maintain efficient and effective practices, enhance the patient experience, and maximize their professional satisfaction.

We publish articles that can help physicians in every area of practice except the strictly clinical, which is the purview of our sister journal, American Family Physician. The test of a manuscript we are considering is whether it is immediately useful to family physicians. See "Topics we cover."

To get a sense of what an FPM article is like, browse back issues of the journal. See FPM's Editorial Mission and Policies for more information.

Topics we cover

The following is a partial list of topics we cover within FPM:

  • Balancing practice and family,
  • Career options,
  • Clinical process improvement,
  • Communication skills,
  • Documentation and coding,
  • Employment issues,
  • Facilities and equipment,
  • Health care reform,
  • Malpractice,
  • Negotiation and contracting,
  • Patient relations,
  • Payment,
  • Physician well-being,
  • Practice efficiency,
  • Quality improvement,
  • Regulations,
  • Staffing,
  • Time management.

Submitting a Manuscript

If you have an idea for an article, we encourage you to contact us to make sure it suits FPM's needs and that we haven't recently accepted an article on the same topic (see "How to contact us").

We encourage authors to use a reasonably informal, conversational writing style rather than "journalese." Our editors are experts at making articles as readable and accessible as possible.

We try to keep FPM articles short -- 2,000 to 3,000 words at most. That's about eight to 12 pages, double-spaced. We also welcome contributions to our Opinion and Last Word departments, 750 to 1,500 words for Opinion and 750 words for Last Word. Opinion contributions should advance a clear point of view on a compelling issue that is well supported by reference citations as needed. Last Word essays may be thoughtful reflections on medicine or light humor.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically by email to Microsoft Word is preferred. Please include the following items with your submission:

Author forms. Before we make a decision about whether to accept your manuscript for publication, we will need you and your coauthors to complete forms for conflict of interest disclosure, author attestation and copyright assignment, and third-party content disclosure. These forms are available for download as a single PDF.(291 KB PDF) Please complete these forms and return them to FPM at the same time you submit your manuscript.

FPM adheres to the AAFP CME Policy and Procedures for Full Disclosure and Identification and Resolutions of Conflicts of Interest(3 page PDF).

Authorship. Please keep author groups to five or fewer authors. Some contributions may be more appropriately credited with an acknowledgement. Please review the criteria for authorship( published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors before making final decisions about authorship. Authors and individuals whose contributions are to be acknowledged must give their permission to be named. Medical students and residents are encouraged to include more experienced physicians in their author groups, although we welcome Last Word essay submissions from all. 

FPM seldom accepts articles that public relations or marketing communications professionals have been involved in developing (e.g., writing, recruiting an author to write, editing, proofing, and assisting with research). Such involvement often signals that the article has been influenced by individuals who have conflicts of interest or that the author has a conflict of interest. The authors must disclose the involvement of such entities, and these disclosures generally point to conflicts of interest that can’t be mitigated sufficiently to allow for acceptance of the article.

Contact information. Include a title page that includes each author's name with highest academic degree and institutional affiliation, as well as contact information for the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript.

Credentials. Include brief statements of the authors' current professional responsibilities, just a sentence or two for each author.

References. Supply numbered references when you quote from or refer directly to information from another publication and to support any statement that you believe readers are likely to question.

Graphs, tables, and illustrations. We are available to help authors create or refine graphs and artwork to illustrate articles we publish. We prefer tables, graphs and illustrations that build on information provided in the body of the article rather than duplicate it. They should be understandable on their own, not dependent on the article for explanation. If you supply illustrations, please include descriptive material that can be used in a caption.

We're happy to have video or photos for publication, although we may decline to use those that are not sharp, well-lit, interesting, or useful. Please include signed photo releases from the individuals depicted. (We can supply photo-release forms to use if needed.)

Copyrighted materials. If you incorporate previously published material into your article -- a table from another source, for instance -- please label it as "COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL; PERMISSION REQUIRED." We prefer to ask permission to reprint such material ourselves.

Review and Editing

Each manuscript goes through an in-house review, during which the editors evaluate its suitability for FPM. Manuscripts that pass this review are then sent out for peer review. We may reject a manuscript or ask the authors to revise it after either review stage, but we can formally accept manuscripts for publication only after they have made it through both stages. If no revisions are required, the process from submission to acceptance or rejection typically takes five to seven weeks.

If your manuscript is accepted, it will go through three editing stages: a substantive edit, a light “polishing” edit, and a review for correctness. Some manuscripts are edited heavily in the first stage, and we sometimes ask authors to fill gaps in their presentation at that point. We will ask you to review and approve all substantive changes. Once the content is essentially final, we won't ask you to review subsequent versions of the article. Time from acceptance to publication varies, but you should expect it to take from three months to one year.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. We strive to make the manuscript preparation and submission process as painless as possible, and you will have a chance to be published in the practice improvement journal of the AAFP and to help our audience of more than 130,000 family physicians.

If your organization is interested in sponsoring an editorial supplement, see FPM's Editorial Supplement Guidelines.