ABFM maintenance of certification (MC-FP) involves ongoing activities covering 4 key components: Professionalism; Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning; Cognitive Expertise; and Performance in Practice. The ABFM Maintenance of Certification program is divided into 3-year “stages” occurring over a 10-year period, and all board-certified physicians must comply with ABFM “Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure, and Personal Conduct.”
Along with continuously maintaining a currently valid, full, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada, physicians must meet the following MC-FP requirements within each 3-year stage in order to maintain certification:
- A minimum of 1 Part II module (SAM)
- A minimum of 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative)
- One additional Part II module or Part IV module
- At least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules) per 3-year stage
- 150 CME credits completed per 3-year stage
If these requirements are not met, you will be listed on the ABFM website as “not certified.”
Use the table below to determine your specific requirements for ABFM maintenance of certification:
|Certified 2003-2010||Certified 2011-Present||Initial Certification or Lapsed 3+ Years|
|If you were certified between 2003 and 2010*, you are automatically enrolled in the MC-FP process. You must complete the following requirements for the 10-year certificate per 3-year stage:||If you were certified after 2011, you must complete the following requirements per 3-year stage:||If your certification has lapsed for more than 3 years and you need to recertify or you have never entered the MC-FP process, you must complete the following requirements (MC-FP Re-Entry Process):|
|At least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules)||At least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules)||At least 50 MC-FP points (acquired by completion of modules; submission of 3 MC-FP Process Payments; 1 payment at the start of each module, submission of an application for the exam with full payment for the exam fee)|
|A minimum of 1 Part II module (SAM)||A minimum of 1 Part II module (SAM)||A minimum of 1 Part II module (SAM)|
|A minimum of 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative). Option to complete 3 Part II modules (SAMs) for Stage One if certified or recertified between 2003-2009.||A minimum of 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative)||A minimum of 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative)|
|One additional Part II module or Part IV module||One additional Part II module or Part IV module||Additional approved Part II or Part IV activities to reach a minimum of 50 points|
|150 CME credits (300 CME credits in the 6 years leading up to the exam)||150 CME credits (minimum 50% Division I, acquired in last 3 years)||150 CME credits (minimum 50% Division I, acquired in last 3 years)|
*Physicians who certified or recertified between 2003 and 2010 have the option of extending the original 7-year certificate to 10 years by completing MC-FP requirements by specific deadlines.
All these requirements must be fulfilled in conjunction with the successful completion of the ABFM certification exam every 10 years, for a physician to retain ABFM certification.
If diplomate is not completing the stage requirement on time, then they will revert to the 7-year certificate.
Requirements for the 7-year certificate are:
- At least 3 Part II modules (SAM)
- At least 1 Part IV module (PPM or approved alternative)
- Three additional Part II or Part IV modules
If these requirements are met, you may take the exam in year 7 of your certification period, and from there on in, you will be on the track for the 10-year certification program.