About the South Carolina Academy

The South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians is the state’s largest primary care medical specialty society and a constituent chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The association has approximately 1,400 members.

Today’s family physician is the patient’s partner in a lifetime of good health. A family physician’s three year residency training after medical school covers a broad range of medical conditions. Family physicians are unique in that they are trained and qualified to treat up to 90% of all conditions and care for all family members: men, women, the elderly, and children of all ages. Family physicians can provide you with comprehensive health care throughout life, from infancy to old age.

The SC Academy was founded in 1949 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public. Other major purposes of the Academy include:

  • To provide responsible advocacy for and education of patients and the public in all health-related matters;
  • To preserve and promote quality cost-effective health care;
  • To promote the science and art of family medicine and to ensure an optimal supply of well-trained family physicians;
  • To promote and maintain high standards among physicians who practice family medicine;
  • To preserve the right of family physicians to engage in medical and surgical procedures for which they are qualified by training and experience;
  • To provide advocacy, representation and leadership for the specialty of family medicine;
  • To maintain and provide an organization with high standards to fulfill the above purposes and to represent the needs of its members.

Continuing Education and Training

Realizing that the family doctor’s effectiveness depends on sound, update continuing education, the founders wrote into the Bylaws the requirement that members must complete a minimum of 150 hours of approved continuing education every three years to retain membership. The requirement, unique at time of origin, has through the years become a standard for an increasing number of other medical groups.

The American Academy of Family Physicians was instrumental in the establishment of family practice, a derivative of classical general practice, as medicine’s twentieth primary specialty. The AMA’s Council on Medical Education and the independent American Board of Medical Specialties granted approval to a certifying board in family practice, the basic structural requisite of a medical specialty on February 8, 1969. Examinations have been given annually since 1970; and recertification examinations, annually since 1976. ABFP diplomates after the July 1992 examination total 40,258. About 90 percent of these are AAFP members.

The Academy maintains a state office in Laurens, SC and its national headquarters in Leawood, Kansas.