Letter Refuting Merit Badge Requirements Available

Mar 19, 2018

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM) will now provide letters of support that may be submitted to hospital administrators to forego the mandatory completion of short courses or additional certifications (“merit badges”) often needed for hospital privileges. Physicians must be participating in the ABEM continuing certification process or the AOBEM Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) Program to obtain the letter.

The letter, signed by each representative of the Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges (COMMB), details specific activities that board-certified physicians perform to maintain certification. ABEM-certified physicians can now download a letter from their Personal Page on the ABEM secure portal. (Instructions) AOBEM-certified physicians can obtain a letter upon request to AOBEM.

ABEM and AOBEM define the standards for the specialty of Emergency Medicine. ABEM’s MOC Program and AOBEM’s OCC Program are rigorous forms of continuous professional development that contain content critical to the practice of Emergency Medicine, including procedural sedation, cardiovascular care, airway management, trauma care, stroke management, and pediatric acute care. Certification by ABEM or AOBEM therefore supersedes the need for such certifications sometimes required for medical staff privileges or disease-specific care center designations.


About ABEM
Founded in 1976, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) develops and administers the Emergency Medicine certification examinations to physicians who have met all ABEM credentialing

Requirements, including residency training. Its mission is to uphold the highest standards in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. ABEM has nearly 36,000 emergency physicians currently certified. ABEM is one of 24 Member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

The American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM) was formed in 1980. It is one of eighteen boards of specialty certification of the American Osteopathic Association. The mission of the AOBEM is: “To protect the public through the certification of excellence in emergency medicine.”  The AOBEM has certified over three thousand emergency physicians. AOBEM certifies physicians in emergency medicine, and in the subspecialties of emergency medical services, medical toxicology, sports medicine, underseas and hyperbaric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine.

COMMB is an organization composed of representatives from all major Emergency Medicine organizations. The Coalition finds no rational justification to require medical merit badges for board-certified emergency physicians who maintain board certification. These professional organizations provide the best opportunities for continuous professional development, and medical merit badges dismiss the quality of those educational efforts.

  • Stay Certified
  • Program Directors

Media Contact

For media and news-related inquires, contact the ABEM Communications Team via email, or 517-332-4800. 

Follow Us