Advanced EM Ultrasonography

Dates and Fees

ABEM offers a Focused Practice Designation (FPD) in Advanced EM 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.

Live Webinar Recording

Recording of an AEMUS focused practice designation webinar hosted by Marianne Gausche-Hill, M.D., and John L. Kendall, M.D., who will discuss the details and take questions.

Eligibility

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
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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. Additional information is available on the EUFAC website. Questions can be addressed to inquiries@EUFACouncil.org or FPD@abem.org.

Exam Process

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

Apply

The application period for the examination in Advanced EM Ultrasonography is open June 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021.

Register

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

Registration for those with approved applications will be open June 1, 2021 - March 1, 2022. The exam registration fee is $1,745. 

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 Core Content of Clinical Ultrasonography Fellowship Training (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:

   Distribution
 Physics and Technical Aspects of Ultrasonography  10 ± 5%
 Anatomic/Diagnostic Ultrasound   60 ± 5%
 Procedural Ultrasound  10 ± 5%
 Clinical Ultrasonography Training with Non-Emergency Medicine Specialties*   0%
 Education and Research Skills  10 ± 5%
 Administration and Quality  10 ± 5%

For examination purposes, this content area is contained within Administration and Quality

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 Core Content of Clinical Ultrasonography Fellowship Training). 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.

2022 AEMUS FPD Exam Scoring FAQs

Results

ABEM sends physicians the results of their examination in writing within 90 days of the date of the exam. Results are also posted on the physician's ABEM Portal.

Learn more about how the AEMUS FPD Exam was developed

View a live webinar recording led by ABEM Director and Chair of the AEMUS Exam Committee John L. Kendall, M.D., who reviews exam development, content, and standard-setting.