Board Eligibility 

On January 1, 2015, ABEM began recognizing the term “board eligible” for physicians who meet specific criteria and have not achieved initial ABEM certification in Emergency Medicine. Physicians must be designated as ABEM board eligible to seek certification in Emergency Medicine. Board eligibility is time-limited. By meeting examination and additional certification requirements, physicians who have not achieved initial certification by the end of their period of board eligibility will be granted a second period of board eligibility. If physicians reach the end of their second period of board eligibility without becoming certified, or if they do not meet the requirements to be granted a second period of board eligibility, they are no longer board eligible. In that case, the physician must complete additional training to become board eligible and pursue certification again.

Board Eligibility Schedule

Physician Group

Board Eligibility Begins

Board Eligibility Ends*

Graduates from residency training in calendar year 2015

On the physician’s graduation date

December 31, 2020

Graduates from residency training in future calendar years

On the physician’s graduation date

December 31 five years after the graduation date

Those who had open certification applications on January 1, 2015, whether they applied via the practice pathway or the accredited training pathway

January 1, 2015

December 31, 2019

Graduates from residency training prior to 2015 and either did not apply for certification or had open applications in the past that were closed as of January 1, 2015 

January 1, 2015

December 31, 2019

* Physicians who meet specific requirements by the end of their period of board eligibility without becoming certified will be granted a second period of board eligibility

The two criteria for a physician to be designated as ABEM board eligible are the following. 

  • Graduation from an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited Emergency Medicine program or an ABEM-approved combined training program.  The only exception to this criterion is for physicians who applied for certification through the practice pathway and had open certification applications on file with ABEM on January 1, 2015.
  • Medical licensure in compliance with the ABEM Policy on Medical Licensure