Walnut Ridge, AR — Carrie Boling Hunter, M.D. a family physician in Walnut Ridge, AR, was recently re-certified as a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice (ABFM), the independent certifying body for the specialty of family medicine.
Hunter earned diplomat status by passing the ABFM’s exam of the six major medical areas that comprise the specialty of family medicine: pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery and community medicine.
In 1969, family medicine was recognized as a medical specialty by the American Medical Association and the American Board of Medical Specialties. Family medicine’s specialty board was the first to issue time-limited certificates and to require mandatory recertification every seven years.
Diplomats are required to complete all four components of the Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) program requirements throughout their seven-year certification term. The components include: evidence of professional standing, lifelong learning and self-assessment, cognitive expertise and evaluation/enhancement of practice performance. These components are designed to continuously measure competency in medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.
Hunter has been in practice at the Walnut Ridge Community Healthcare Clinic, a branch of the Corning Area Healthcare System, since 2007. Dr. Hunter accepts all patients—including those without insurance. Patients who meet certain income requirements may qualify for reduced cost healthcare through the clinic.
To maintain membership in the American Academy of Family Physicians, Hunter is required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of accredited continuing medical education every three years. The AAFP was the first national medical specialty organization to set continuing education requirements for its members. This requirement helps ensure family physician members remain educated on the most up-to-date medical technologies, research and techniques.