Self Study

Because the certification examination is clinically oriented and reflective of the day-to-day practice of family medicine, the most effective way to prepare for it is to participate actively in clinics, family medicine offices and learning opportunities such as case discussions, rounds and journal clubs. That said, it should be easy to study for the examination at home. Create an individual program of continuing medical education to fit your schedule. There are many convenient ways of keeping up-to-date with developments in primary care and family medicine. A few of the most popular options are listed here. 

Review programs

Self LearningTM

The Self Learning Program is a CFPC continuing professional development program developed by family physicians for family physicians. Family medicine residents receive free online access to the program. Visit to access your online account.

Each issue of Self Learning contains multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions that are supported by an educational point. These educational points are not consensus statements about how best to conduct your practice; rather, they are distilled from articles selected by your peers in family medicine as being relevant and challenging. Given that new findings sometimes cannot be duplicated or are discredited over time, readers are encouraged to apply the same critical appraisal to the articles featured in the program as they would when reading any medical journal.

* It is important to note that while the short answer management problems (SAMPs) included in Self Learning may have a similar format, they are not necessarily reflective of the SAMP questions in the certification examination.*

Home Study and Self-Assessment Program - American Academy of Family Physicians

Audio, monograph, and combined subscriptions are available on topics of current interest. For more information please visit the American Academy of Family Physicians site or contact them by phone at (913) 906-6000 x5298; fax (913) 906-6285 or email.

Other Programs

Many other CPD formats, including interactive online CPD, are also available. For more information, please refer to the lists of CPD programs eligible for Mainpro+® credits.

Books and Journals

Many physicians preparing for the exam have found it useful to quickly review the current edition of their favourite textbook in each of the major clinical disciplines contributing to family medicine: obstetrics, pediatrics, medicine, surgery and psychiatry.

Journals also offer opportunity for review. Canadian Family Physician, the official publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, publishes useful clinically oriented articles pertinent to the practice of family medicine in Canada. Journals of other national colleges and academic associations of family medicine include American Family Physician, Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, and the BJGP:British Journal of General Practice. Journals such as Journal Watch and the ACP Journal Club provide critical summaries of the original research literature, and are intended to help apply relevant, high-quality research to the practice of medicine. Get a convenient list of links to online journals of interest to family physicians.

The following three-part article may also be helpful. 

The Canadian Library Of Family Medicine

The College's library service is always ready to help with any of your information needs. CFPC members can request free literature searches and full text articles. Contact the library for more information. Let the library help you prepare for certification.

Canadian Library of Family Medicine
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
2630 Skymark Avenue
Mississauga, ON L4W 5A4
[email protected]

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