• Editorial Mission and Policies

    FPM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    It is one of a suite of products and services offered by the AAFP to enhance members’ abilities to fulfill their practice and career goals.

    FPM Editorial Mission

    The mission of FPM is 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.


    1. To help family physicians enhance their skills in all aspects of practice except for the strictly clinical, especially the following:

    • Providing high-quality, patient-centered care,
    • Improving office efficiency,
    • Communicating effectively,
    • Maximizing the usefulness of information technology,
    • Leading team-based systems of care,
    • Diagnosis and procedure coding and documentation,
    • Navigating developments in Medicare and other programs,
    • Career and practice development,
    • Balancing the demands of professional and personal life.

    2. To move family physicians to action by publishing articles and tools that are immediately useful.

    3. To support family physicians’ lifelong learning by offering CME for FPM journal content.

    4. To advance family medicine by inspiring and equipping family physicians to succeed in practice today.

    5. To be constructive, inclusive, optimistic, and solution-focused while acknowledging the economic and administrative challenges of practice.

    6. To serve all family physicians regardless of practice setting, practice size, or employment status.

    7. To maintain editorial excellence and family physicians’ trust by dedicating ourselves to the journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, and balance and keeping family physicians’ needs in constant focus.

    Editorial Practices and Policies

    The FPM mission and objectives apply to all FPM-branded content. The editorial practices and policies below are primarily relevant to FPM journal content. Important differences related to FPM blogs and social media content are described in "Blogs and Social Media," below.

    Editorial Team

    The FPM editorial team is led by a Medical Editor, a family physician who is independently contracted with the American Academy of Family Physicians, and an Executive Editor, a medical publishing professional who is employed by the AAFP. The Medical Editor’s primary responsibility is to make final decisions regarding the acceptance of peer-reviewed articles. The Executive Editor's primary responsibility is to ensure the quality of FPM content and editorial processes. The Medical Editor and a professional editorial staff led by the Executive Editor work together to implement a content plan developed annually in collaboration with the FPM Editorial Advisory Board. Contributing Editors are authors who contribute regularly to FPM and whose work the editors judge of sufficient quality to merit the distinction.

    Editorial Advisory Board

    The FPM Editorial Advisory Board is an independent advisory board made up of family physicians and subject matter experts who assist the editors in keeping FPM true to its mission and responsive to the needs of its readers. The Medical Editor manages the Editorial Advisory Board and directs its activities, which include participating in the development of a content plan, reviewing manuscripts that enter FPM's peer review process, making recommendations to the Medical Editor regarding disposition of the manuscripts they review, and helping the editors make accepted manuscripts as useful as possible to readers.

    Peer Review

    FPM maintains a peer-review process to evaluate manuscripts for relevance, accuracy, importance, usefulness, interest, clarity, and authoritativeness. All feature articles and editorials considered for the Opinion department are reviewed by at least four family physicians, including members of FPM's Editorial Advisory Board, and subject matter experts such as health care attorneys, professional coders, and practice management consultants. See Peer Review for more information.

    FPM and the AAFP

    The FPM Medical Editor, Executive Editor, and editorial team operate with editorial independence and are fully responsible for FPM's content. The editors confer on important editorial matters with the FPM Publisher, but neither the FPM Publisher nor the American Academy of Family Physicians as the sponsoring organization has authority over FPM content. FPM and AAFP advertising policies ensure that editorial content is never influenced by commercial interest.

    Because the AAFP employs sought-after subject matter experts whose work is pertinent to FPM’s editorial focus, FPM editors often collaborate with these staff to develop content in the same way that a non-AAFP publication might do. AAFP staff in the Alliance for eHealth Innovation, the Center for Quality, the Center for Health Care Finance & Delivery, and the AAFP National Research Network may serve as authors, contributing editors, and reviewers.

    Decisions about whether to highlight AAFP product or service offerings in FPM editorial content are made using the same criterion as those for non-AAFP products and services. A product or service is mentioned if, in the judgment of the editor and the author, it will make the article more useful to the reader. Information about AAFP products or services is often presented along with information about products and services from other sources.

    Editorials and Commentary

    FPM publishes opinion and commentary to help family physicians understand the health care environment, thereby aiding them in making practical decisions about their practice – not simply to provide a forum for expression. The opinions presented in FPM reflect the views of the authors, not those of FPM or the American Academy of Family Physicians, unless so stated. To clearly distinguish it from other FPM journal content, editorial opinion is expressed only in the Opinion department. Editorials considered for the Opinion department are peer-reviewed. Editorials may be paired to provide pro-con perspective on selected topics. Readers are encouraged to share their views on editorials and all other FPM content by submitting comments online.

    Blogs and Social Media

    Furthering FPM’s editorial mission and objectives, FPM blogs serve readers with additional content beyond the journal’s regular publishing frequency. Blog posts may represent practical tips, how-to-advice, analysis, news, or commentary. Blog posts are not peer-reviewed; however, prior to publication, each blog post is reviewed by an FPM editor for appropriateness and edited by for accuracy, grammar, and style. The opinions presented in FPM blogs reflect the views of the authors, not those of FPM or the American Academy of Family Physicians, unless so stated.

    We use social media channels to direct readers to FPM and other content that we believe they will find useful (see "FPMjournal" on Facebook and TwitterFPM’s social media presence, including content selection, linking, writing, and posting, is independently managed by an FPM editor and is not peer-reviewed

    In all channels, comments from readers are strongly encouraged.


    Every person listed as an author of an FPM article must have played a meaningful role in its development. Prior to acceptance, authors must complete an Author Statement and Copyright Assignment Form that requires attestation to the following statement: "I have participated sufficiently in the development of the content and form of this work and the writing of the manuscript to take public responsibility for it. I represent and warrant that my contribution is original and that I am the sole owner of that contribution."

    Conflict of Interest

    FPM is committed to publishing high-quality editorial content that is free of bias resulting from commercial and organizational influence and personal self-interest. FPM adheres to the AAFP CME Policy and Procedures for Full Disclosure and Identification and Resolution of Conflicts of Interest. All FPM authors, editors, reviewers, and Editorial Advisory Board members, as well as FPM staff members, disclose relevant financial affiliations before their role in developing editorial content is confirmed. Only those authors and editors who have no conflicts of interest or whose conflicts have been successfully resolved are involved with FPM. We publish a disclosure statement with each article, and we inform readers of any disclosed financial relationship that might produce bias regarding the content of the article. FPM does not accept content that is commercially supported, either directly or indirectly, by pharmaceutical companies, public relations firms, or other commercial entities.

    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, or assisting with research). Such involvement often signals that the article has been influenced by individuals who have conflicts of interest and/or that the author has a conflict of interest. Before the editors determine whether an article is suitable for peer review, 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.


    FPM is indexed in MEDLINE, PubMed, and CINAHL.

    Copyright and Permission

    Content published in FPM (ISSN 1069-5648 print; ISSN 1531-1929 website) is covered by copyright. All rights are reserved under United States and international copyright and other laws and conventions. No copyright is claimed to any work of the U.S. government. Permission is required to reprint or adapt previously published material.


    Corrections are published in the Letters department. FPM editors correct the article published on the FPM website and include a note to readers to explain that a correction has been made.

    Impact Factor

    FPM does not calculate or publish an impact factor (the frequency with which the average article in the journal has been cited in a particular period). The impact factor is not a relevant metric for a journal like FPM that does not publish medical research.


    Supplements will only be considered for publication when the content is unbiased and of educational value to AAFP members and FPM readers. The executive editor or medical editor will accept or reject a supplement purely on its informational or academic merit. Supplements that are clearly for promotional purposes will not be considered. See Editorial Supplement Guidelines.


    FPM publishes display, classified, and online advertising judged to be in harmony with the purpose of the journal. Acceptance does not constitute endorsement by FPM or the American Academy of Family Physicians. FPM adheres to the advertising policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the World Association of Medical Editors, and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. To ensure that editorial content is not influenced in any way by advertisers or advertising considerations, no issue, article, or department is supported by an individual advertiser or by grant funding. Instead, the publication as a whole is supported by the pooled income from multiple advertisements. Detailed requirements for advertising acceptance are published in the FPM Display Advertising Rate Card.

    FPM Products

    FPM editors are involved in the development of any publication or product that uses the logo or the name of FPM. Their approval of the final product must be obtained prior to publication.

    Ethical Guidelines

    FPM is neither a traditional medical journal nor a traditional business magazine; it has characteristics of both. FPM and the American Academy of Family Physicians, as FPM's publisher, follow widely accepted ethical guidelines for both business journals and medical journals (where the latter guidelines are relevant). FPM's editorial policies described in this document have been largely informed by The World Association of Medical Editors policy statement.

    FPM also adheres to the American Society of Business Publication Editors "Guide to Preferred Editorial Practices," including its "Guidelines for Association Editors."

    Updated 5/17/21