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Family Medicine Board Review & High-Yield Study Resources

Dr. Leila Javidi and Dr. Mike Ren contributed to this post.

As family medicine residents, we are used to adapting to a wide range of situations during rotations. Med School 2.0, as I like to call it. Our specialty is, well, all specialties, which is rewarding but extremely challenging in practice, and most annoyingly, during standardized testing.

Sure, we have an advantage during Step 3 because we never got away from “general medicine” and still do pediatrics, obstetrics, and even surgical specialties. But when it comes to board exams, the test is its own beast.

If you are studying for the ABFM family medicine board exam, you realize that there are a lot of different ways you might approach medicine. That is the unfortunate truth of medicine today: we aren't always able to practice perfect evidence-based medicine, and we have to deal with real world expectations of patients. 

But it’s important, for the board exam, that you stay up-to-date with guidelines and recommendations and get into the “vibe” of the family medicine board exam.

The ABFM Board Exam: Everything You Need to Know

In this post, we overview essential information for the Family Medicine Board Exam, including: how the ABFM is scored, when it is offered, what the exam covers, and more.

What is the ABFM exam? 

The ABFM certification is an exam offered by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) to residents who have completed their family medicine residency training. In order to be board-certified by the ABFM, residents must take and pass this exam. 

An ABFM Board Exam Roadmap
Dr. Mike Ren by Dr. Mike Ren on Aug 30, 2021 in Family Medicine, Boards, ABFM

As you begin your family medicine residency, you may be wondering what the path from intern year to board exam looks like. We overview the family medicine residency pathway in this post. 

Family Medicine Intern Year

The first half of your family medicine intern year will seem eerily similar to med school—like drinking from a fire hose. Absorb as much as you can, and learn from your upper levels to build a foundation to lean on for the remainder of residency.

Boards are far away at this point, and you’ll want to focus on thriving as a resident. Most family medicine residencies have an ITE (in-training exam) in October, but don’t sweat this one because its purpose is to gauge your knowledge thus far. 

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