• Qualifying Examination Description and Content Specifications

    QE Examination Description

    The qualifying examination is a criterion-referenced examination. All candidates achieving a final score of 75 or greater will pass the examination.

    The qualifying examination is a comprehensive examination that covers the breadth of Emergency Medicine. Each examination appointment is approximately 8 hours in length, with approximately 6.5 hours devoted to actual testing time. The examination contains approximately 305 single-best answer multiple-choice questions. Between 10% and 15% of the questions will have a pictorial stimulus. The qualifying examination is administered at over 200 Pearson VUE professional computer-based testing centers throughout the United States.

    Content Specifications

     The Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (EM Model) forms the basis of each of ABEM’s examinations. The lists below describe the relative weight given to different elements of the EM Model in constructing ABEM’s multiple choice examinations. The complete EM Model was published in Annals of Emergency Medicine. [Ann Emerg Med. 2008; 52:e1-e17]. It is also on ABEM’s website.

    Listing of Conditions & Components

    1.0

    Signs, Symptoms and Presentations

    9%

    2.0

    Abdominal & Gastrointestinal Disorders

    9%

    3.0

    Cardiovascular Disorders

    10%

    4.0

    Cutaneous Disorders

    2%

    5.0

    Endocrine, Metabolic & Nutritional Disorders

    3%

    6.0

    Environmental Disorders

    3%

    7.0

    Head, Ear, Eye, Nose & Throat Disorders

    5%

    8.0

    Hematologic Disorders

    2%

    9.0

    Immune System Disorders

    2%

    10.0

    Systemic Infectious Disorders

    5%

    11.0

    Musculoskeletal Disorders (Non-traumatic)

    3%

    12.0

    Nervous System Disorders

    5%

    13.0

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    4%

    14.0

    Psychobehavioral Disorders

    3%

    15.0

    Renal and Urogenital Disorders

    3%

    16.0

    Thoracic-Respiratory Disorders

    8%

    17.0

    Toxicologic Disorders

    4%

    18.0

    Traumatic Disorders

    11%

    Appendix I: Procedures & Skills

    6%

    Appendix II: Other Components

    3%

    Total

    100%

    Acuity Frames

    Target
    (± 5%)

    Critical

    27%

    Emergent

    37%

    Lower Acuity

    27%

    None

    9%

    Physician Tasks

    For this dimension, the Board has assigned the following specific percentage weights to the Modifying Factor of age:

    Pediatrics: 8% minimum
    Geriatrics: 4% minimum