News

Reflecting the New Reality

May 07, 2020

Jill M. Baren, M.D.Message from the President 
Jill M. Baren M.D.

Our lives have changed in totally unprecedented ways, both professionally and personally, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us, including myself, have contracted the virus and some of our colleagues have tragically died. Our families, friends, and co-workers may also be suffering. But I know that collectively, we as emergency physicians will stand resolute in treating our patients on the front lines.

In these extraordinary times, we are all operating in ways we had never before imagined. We are evaluating and treating nearly all patients wearing protective equipment, we are being bombarded with information about daily changes in workflow and new treatment algorithms, and we are having to take extreme precautions when we return to our homes so as not to risk exposing our families. ABEM recognizes that in these unique times we, as an organization, need to function in new ways to reflect your reality, ways that will assist you with the goal that preserves your ability to attain and retain your certification. We have taken a number of actions that we hope will allow you to focus appropriately on the work that is needed during this pandemic.

Most notably, we are offering the ConCert Exam online as an open-book test. Physicians will be able to take the exam from home, using any resources they wish. There will be no proctoring, although physicians will need to attest to an honor code statement when they first sign onto the testing session. Additional details of the online ConCert Exam are still being determined. We will communicate those details widely as they become available.

For those physicians who have requirements due this year, we are relaxing deadlines by providing you an additional six months—until June 30, 2021—to complete your requirements. ABEM is providing this extension in recognition of the challenging situation resulting from COVID-19.

In response to residents’ concerns, we have also taken actions to protect resident eligibility for certification. For those residents who have to undergo a two-week period of quarantine, the yearly minimum of successfully completed training time will be reduced from 46 to 44 weeks for this academic year. We are also supporting alternative means of resident education by sponsoring virtual learning opportunities.

ABEM is continuously monitoring the impact that the pandemic has on emergency physicians and will provide updates on certification and recertification processes as necessary. We recognize that emergency physicians are on the front lines of the nation’s response and you should be proud that our community shines brightest when we are called to action in this capacity. Thank you for your dedication to the specialty. Please stay healthy and safe.

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