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What is a board-certified family physician?

A board-certified family physician is a doctor who has gone to medical school, completed a residency in family medicine and received certification by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). To receive ABFM certification, family doctors need to pass a certification examination at the end of their residency. To stay board-certified, family doctors need to do ongoing training and re-take the certification examination at regular intervals.

Other medical specialties, including cardiology, surgery and many other areas of medicine also offer board certification. Board certification can be one indication that a doctor is keeping abreast of the latest research and changes in the specialty. It can be an important achievement to look for when choosing a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.