Become an ABEM Volunteer

Make a difference in the specialty of Emergency Medicine by getting involved with ABEM.

ABEM volunteers include oral examiners, item writers, subspecialty representatives, and participants in special projects, such as standard-setting studies.

The Board reviews nomination materials and appoints new examiners and item writers at its summer Board meeting each year, usually held in July. The number of appointments varies each year based on the needs of the oral and written exams. Nominations submitted by May 1 of each year are presented to the Board at the July meeting. Nominees are notified of the results via email the month following the Board meeting.

Oral Examiner and Item Writer Criteria

  • Certified by ABEM for the past five years
  • Actively participating in the ABEM continuing certification process
  • Completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited EM residency
  • Clinically active in the practice of EM

Nominees who have served as examiners or writers in the past must meet the same criteria.

An individual can serve as both an examiner and an item writer simultaneously but cannot be nominated for both positions in the same year. There is typically a waiting list to become an examiner or item writer and it often takes two to three consecutive years of nomination to be selected.

ABEM uses the Oral Examiner Attributes to describe a successful examiner and the Item Writer Attributes to describe a successful writer.

The principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity are critical to ABEM’s fulfillment of its mission to ensuring the highest standards in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. ABEM promotes an atmosphere of diversity, inclusion, and equity acknowledging that different perspectives and cultures all contribute to better ideas and solutions for ABEM’s complex challenges. For its volunteers, ABEM seeks representation based on age, race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, creed, religion, national origin, geographic location, veteran or military status, immigration status, and disability. ABEM encourages nominations of emergency physicians in all types of clinical settings, including community practice locations.

Examiner Nomination Process

  • Nominees submit the Examiner Nomination Form and include a current CV.
  • Nominees contact a professional colleague who submits the Examiner Recommendation Form. Colleague recommendations do not need to come from an ABEM volunteer. However, it is preferable for someone familiar with the oral examiner role to make a recommendation as to the nominee’s suitability for the role.
  • An ABEM Board member (current or previous) provides an endorsement. Nominees who do not know a Board member are encouraged to reach out to colleagues and any ABEM volunteer who may be able to request an endorsement on behalf of the nominee.
Oral examiners are appointed to three-year terms and may serve an indefinite number of terms. An oral examiner term begins on January 1 of the year following initial appointment.

Item Writer Nomination Process

  • Nominees complete the Item Writer Information Form and submit a current CV.
  • Nominees contact a professional colleague who submits the Item Writer Recommendation Form. Colleague recommendations do not need to come from an ABEM volunteer. However, it is preferable for someone familiar with the item writer role to make a recommendation as to the nominee’s suitability for the role.
  • An ABEM Board member (current or previous) provides an endorsement. Nominees who do not know a Board member are encouraged to reach out to colleagues and any ABEM volunteer who may be able to request an endorsement on behalf of the nominee.

Item writers are appointed to three-year terms and may serve a maximum of three terms, i.e., nine years. An item writer term begins on July 1 of the year following initial appointment. Participation as an item writer requires submission of three item assignments per year, i.e., a total of 24 items, and regular attendance and participation at the annual Item Writers Workshop, usually held in July. New writers must attend a training and orientation session before beginning their first term as a writer.

For more information about volunteer appointments, please contact the Board office at volunteer@abem.org or 517-332-4800, option 5.