Certifying Exam

New Certifying Exam Launching in 2026

✔  In 2026, ABEM will launch a new in-person Certifying Exam as the second step for physicians to become certified.
✔  After 2025, the current virtual Oral Certification Exam will retire and no longer be available.
✔  The Qualifying (written) Exam will still be required for certification.

Emergency Medicine is constantly evolving, and ABEM is dedicated to addressing the changing needs of emergency physicians and the specialty. Rest assured that after extensive research during the Becoming Certified Initiative, we will develop and roll out a new exam that will be innovative, assess additional competencies, and maintain the highest standards in the specialty of Emergency Medicine.

Become Certified graphic

Moving to the future!

Over the past two years, the Becoming Certified Task Force has completed a rigorous review of ABEM’s Oral Exam and the process for physicians to become ABEM certified. ABEM learned from input and feedback that we should create an assessment that is even more relevant to practice, with added flexibility to adapt to changes in practice, and assesses additional competencies the Oral Exam format cannot. 

We thank everyone who participated in surveys, forums, summits, and meetings throughout the Becoming Certified Initiative. We heard your feedback!
>> Summary of Feedback   
>> Key Findings 
>> Frequently Asked Questions
>> Why Raleigh, NC? 
>> Validity Evidence for New Certifying Exam



Certifying Exam Content
Becoming Certified Task Force (3)

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How is the Certifying Exam different?

The Certifying Exam will test additional competencies that cannot be tested on the Qualifying Exam or current Oral Exam. 

It will assess:

  • High-stakes Communications and Difficult Conversations
  • Patient Communications Beyond Diagnosis
  • Procedural Skills
  • Clinical Decision Making/Shared Decision Making
  • Team Management
  • Leadership
  • Troubleshooting
  • Task Switching
  • Prioritization

The Certifying Exam will take place in person at  the AIME Center, a professional assessment center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Multiple exam administrations will take place each year, giving candidates more flexibility in scheduling.

What kind of cases are on the Certifying Exam?

The Certifying Exam will allow candidates to use the skills and methods learned in training and apply them to simulated, real-world clinical scenarios to determine if they meet the high standards required for the independent practice of emergency medicine.

There are two assessment types that make up the new Certifying Exam: Clinical care cases and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) cases:

Clinical Care cases are based on guided scenarios that will require candidates to facilitate a dialogue with an examiner to demonstrate how they prioritize patient care, assess their adaptability to unexpected clinical changes, and interact with various sources of information.

OSCE cases 
will assess communication, professionalism, and technical skills related to patient care. Scenarios could involve standardized patient actors or procedural equipment.

The ABEM Board of Directors has created a Certifying Exam Workgroup that will bring together experts from across the specialty to develop the cases for the new Certifying Exam. 

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Why is the current Oral Exam being retired after 2025?

The Oral Certification Exam is an important part of ABEM certification. It measures unique competencies that are not measured on the Qualifying (written) Exam and has been shown to be a valid and reliable examination. Most importantly, the Oral Exam differentiates ABEM-certified physicians from other providers. However, ABEM is developing an assessment that addresses the feedback from the community.  


What's Next? 

ABEM looks forward to keeping you informed as we develop and roll out the new exam that will be innovative, assess additional competencies, and maintain the highest standards in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. 
ABEM is committed to keeping you informed throughout the process with updates and informational sessions.  

Learn More

ABEM Webinar for Program Directors and Core Faculty |  March 11, 2024
3 p.m. Eastern 
Recording Here
Speaker Request
Are you involved with a regional meeting or conference, host a blog or podcast, or know of opportunities where ABEM can provide an update on the changes to residents and core faculty?
Complete the ABEM Speaker Request  



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