Emergency Medicine Initial Certification

Certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) is an important accomplishment for most emergency physicians. Certification demonstrates the physician’s expertise in Emergency Medicine and is needed to practice in many hospitals. ABEM strives to ensure that its certification processes are fair, valid, and reliable. See the ABEM Policy on Bias.

There are three steps for physicians to achieve certification in Emergency Medicine after completing residency training:

Step 1: Apply for certification and receive ABEM approval as meeting credentialing requirements for certification in Emergency Medicine.

Step 2: Pass the ABEM Qualifying Examination.

Step 3: Pass the ABEM Oral Certification Examination.

The ABEM initial certification process is now time-limited, and physicians are designated as “ABEM Board Eligible” during that time. See the ABEM Board Eligibility section below.


ABEM issues certificates and designates physicians who complete the certification process as diplomates of the American Board of Emergency Medicine. All ABEM diplomates participate in the ABEM Maintenance of Certification program (ABEM MOC) to maintain their certification.



ABEM Board Eligibility
Physicians must be ABEM board eligible to seek initial certification in Emergency Medicine. See the full description of ABEM Board Eligibility and related procedures.


Initial Certification Policies and Procedures

ABEM policies provide the basis for certification practices that lead to certification. See the full list of Initial Certification policies.