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ABEM Statement about ABEM-Certified Physicians Providing Misleading and Inaccurate Information to the Public

Aug 26, 2021

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) supports public health measures that decrease the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe illness such as the appropriate use of face masks and vaccination for eligible people.

ABEM’s Code of Professionalism requires that physicians “Refrain from conduct that the Board determines, in its sole judgment, to be sufficiently egregious that it is inconsistent with ethical  behavior by a physician.”

Providing misleading and inaccurate information to the public can be sufficiently egregious and inconsistent with the ethical behavior of a physician who is expected to do no harm .

ABEM recognizes that there are numerous medical issues on which physicians will have legitimate differences of opinions – and that ABEM-certified physicians have every right to express their opinions on those issues. However, making public statements that are directly contrary to prevailing medical evidence can constitute unprofessional conduct and may be subject to review by ABEM.

Should ABEM determine that a physician is promulgating inaccurate information that is contrary to the interests of patients and that adversely impacts public safety, ABEM may withdraw or deny certification for that physician.

Each reported incidence is subject to a multi-level review process involving staff and the Board of Directors prior to taking any action on certification status. ABEM also maintains an appeal process for physicians who are found to not fulfill the requirements described in the Code of Professionalism.

Physicians seeking ABEM certification and physicians who are ABEM certified are encouraged to read and are expected to comply with ABEM’s Code of Professionalism




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