Advanced EM Ultrasonography

ABEM offers a Focused Practice Designation (FPD) in Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasonography (AEMUS).

The FPD recognizes expertise held by emergency physicians with sophisticated, comprehensive knowledge of Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasonography. While residency-trained emergency physicians have acquired basic expertise applying ultrasound in the emergency department, those physicians who specialize in AEMUS will have acquired a greater breadth and depth of knowledge in advanced techniques, research, and quality improvement skills.

The FPD is available only to ABEM-certified physicians.

Dates and Fees

  • Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasonography

    March 11-16, 2024

    Application Request Deadline*
    December 1, 2023
    Request an Application

    June 1 - December 18, 2023

    Registration End Date*
    March 1, 2024
    $470 application fee
    $1,745 registration fee

    *Application requests, applications, and registrations will be accepted until midnight ET on the last day of the application requests/application/registration window.

    Fees subject to change


Physicians seeking to take the Focused Practice Designation Examination in Advanced EM Ultrasonography must:

  1. Be certified by ABEM
  2. ABEM-certified physicians must successfully complete the training, training-plus-practice, or practice pathways as specified in the eligibility criteria
  3. Complete and submit the application to ABEM
  4. Actively participate in the ABEM continuing certification process
  5. Fulfill the Policy on Medical Licensure
AEMUS Pathways

The Bottom Line

Infograpic AEMUS timeline

Eligible Training

Approval of fellowship training programs under an FPD falls outside of the purview of ACGME. The Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Accreditation Council (EUFAC) accredits training programs based on AEMUS Program Requirements. An FAQ about AEMUS Professional Online Scholarship is available here. Additional information is available on the EUFAC website. Questions can be addressed to or

Exam Process

The Advanced EM Ultrasonography Focused Practice Designation Examination will be offered every other year, in even-numbered years.

1. Apply

  • Complete the application request form to be notified when the application is open.
    Note: submitting this form does NOT count as applying to take the exam.
  • The deadline to request an application is December 1 the year prior to the administration of the exam. (The deadline to request an application for the 2024 exam is December 1, 2023.)
  • To apply, physicians will sign in to the ABEM Portal and select the green AEMUS link. Application and exam fees are due at the time of submission. Application fees are non-refundable, however, approved applications are valid for seven years.

2. Register

Physicians with previously approved applications will be notified how to register for the exam and schedule an appointment at a Pearson VUE testing center.

Taking the Exam

The AEMUS Focused Practice Examination is a criterion-referenced exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions, each with a single-best answer. Questions will be a combination of text only, text with still image stimuli, and text with video stimuli.

After check-in, the Pearson VUE test administrator will seat you in the testing room. Each AEMUS Exam appointment is 3 hours and 15 minutes in length. However, only 2 hours and 45 minutes of this time is actual testing time. The remainder of the appointment time is used to complete activities related to the exam administration process, such as check-in and acceptance of the ABEM Policy on Examination Irregularities.

Content Specifications

The 2023 Core Content of advanced emergency medicine ultrasonography (Core Content) is the basis for all AEMUS examination content. The Core Content defines the content for ABEM’s AEMUS examination. The distribution of exam questions based on content area is as follows:

 Physics and Technical Aspects of Ultrasonography  10 ± 5%
 Anatomic/Diagnostic Ultrasound   60 ± 5%
 Procedural Ultrasound  10 ± 5%
 Education and Research Skills  10 ± 5%
 Administration and Quality  10 ± 5%

Passing Criterion and Scoring

The AEMUS Focused Practice Designation Exam is criterion referenced. A criterion-referenced exam uses a predetermined standard, which is adopted by the AEMUS Exam Committee as reflecting its performance standards (The 2023 Core Content of advanced emergency medicine ultrasonography). All candidates meeting the standard will pass the exam. Quotas or required percentages of candidates passing are not used to determine the passing score.

The score on the exam is a raw score that does not include field test items. In addition to the field-testing process, each question receives a thorough review before being used to score the examination. Questions that do not meet the Exam Committee's quality standards are not used in determining candidates’ final scores.

Determining a Passing Score

The process of determining a passing score for the exam involves convening a representative panel of clinically active physicians who are knowledgeable in AEMUS. They are trained in a process called “standard setting,” which requires the participating physicians to thoroughly understand the AEMUS Core Content. The panelists then evaluate each test question and assess how a candidate who meets the ABEM standard would perform. The panel then recommends a passing standard (score) to the AEMUS Exam Committee. The Committee weighs this recommendation and uses it to determine a passing score to recommend to the ABEM Board of Directors, who make the final determination. The passing score for the 2022 AEMUS Focused Practice Designation Examination is 54 out of the 76 questions scored.

AEMUS FPD Exam Scoring FAQs


ABEM notifies physicians that the exam results are available through their ABEM Portal within 90 days of the last day of the exam.

Learn more about how the AEMUS FPD Exam was developed

Live webinar recording led by ABEM Director and Chair of the AEMUS Exam Committee John L. Kendall, M.D.  Review exam development, content, and standard-setting.

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