Certification Application Process

Access to the Certification Application
Physicians who will graduate on or before October 31, 2017, or who have already graduated, may access the application by signing in to the EM Initial Certification Page.

Residents who do not graduate until after October 31, 2017, are not eligible to apply for certification in 2017. ABEM does not make the certification application available to physicians who are not eligible to apply. In rare instances, ABEM may not be aware that the resident’s graduation date will occur after October 31, 2017. In that case, the application will not be accepted, and the physician must reapply when eligible.

ABEM will send certification application information to residency directors in mid-April for distribution to residents graduating between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017.

Applying in the First Available Application Period
Physicians who graduate(d) from EM residency programs between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017, can apply for certification during the 2017 application period, even if they have not graduated yet. This is the first available application period for these physicians. If they do not apply for certification during the 2017 application period, it will be considered a delay in the certification process and they will have additional certification requirements beginning January 1, 2018. Physicians who graduated prior to November 1, 2015, and who did not apply for certification have additional certification requirements that started January 1, 2016. They may need to meet these requirements before they can apply for certification.

There may be advantages for 2017 graduates to apply for certification in the 2017application period, even if they plan to defer taking the Qualifying Examination to a future year.

Submitting the Application
ABEM strongly encourages physicians to complete and submit their certification application, including any additional materials requested, before the deadline date in order to avoid late fees.

The following items must be submitted for an application to be complete:

    1. All information requested in the online certification application.

    2. The application fee in U.S. funds. Fees may be paid online with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Physicians who prefer not to pay online may choose the option “I prefer to pay by mail.” Those physicians must print the payment form and send it to ABEM by U.S. mail together with the examination fee. Post-dated checks will not be accepted. The payment form and fee must be postmarked on or before the deadline, to avoid late fees.

      See the current certification application fees and schedule. Applicants are charged the fee in effect at the time they submit their application.

      An application will not be complete, and cannot be processed, until ABEM receives the full payment.

      The application fee covers the cost of processing the application only. It does not cover the Qualifying Examination. The application fee cannot be refunded under any circumstances.

    3. Information change request form, if needed.

Physicians who have questions should contact the ABEM office for clarification and assistance before submitting the application.

Falsification of any part of the application or the required documentation may result in revocation of any certificate issued or other appropriate sanctions as described in the application agreement.

ABEM recommends that physicians print a copy of their application form and supporting documentation before submitting it to ABEM.

Late Application Submission
Late fees are in effect for applications submitted after the deadline. All applications must be submitted by the final application deadline. Please see the
certification application schedule and fees for current late periods and fees.

Late application fees will not be waived for physicians who cannot access the certification application because they have not completed additional certification requirements.

Application Processing
ABEM begins processing applications as soon as they are complete. This includes checking the applicant’s medical licensure status and obtaining independent verification from the residency Program Director. Verification of training can only occur after the physician has graduated from residency training.

ABEM reserves the right, at any time, to request additional documentation pertaining to the application and any information requested on the application. ABEM may solicit such information from sources listed on the application, any licensing board, other persons, and third-party organizations. If any questions or problems regarding credentialing arise, ABEM will contact the applicant directly.

ABEM begins emailing notifications to approved applicants in mid-July.

Physicians whose applications cannot be approved by ten business days prior to the Qualifying Exam, will not be able to take the Qualifying Examination. If they registered for the examination, ABEM will cancel the registration and the appointment to take the examination, and will refund the examination fee, less a 10% processing fee.

If a current year application is not approved by April 1 of the following year, the application will be closed. Physicians with closed applications must reapply no later than the final year of their period of board eligibility if they want to pursue ABEM certification. They must meet all the requirements in place at the time they submit the new application, including completion of additional certification requirements.