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ABEM Continues to Advance the Specialty of Emergency Medicine

Apr 25, 2022

ABEM continues to advance the specialty of Emergency Medicine. By the end of 2021, all physicians who had been scheduled to take the Oral Exam in 2020 or 2021 were offered an opportunity to take the exam. Last year, over 4,100 physicians became ABEM certified; congratulations to all of you! Be sure to access the ✓ ABEM Reqs tool as you have annual requirements to stay certified.

The Oral Exam will be offered virtually in 2022 and 2023, with three administrations each year. The 2023 exams will be slightly different: there will be five single cases and two structured interview cases. Unlike single cases, the structured interview case does not involve role playing; rather, it is a discussion about the approach to working up a patient in the emergency department. The examiner will ask the physician questions designed to assess why certain actions are taken, how a differential and final diagnosis are developed, and how the care of the patient is transitioned. I advise those taking the exam or preparing graduates to learn about the structured interview case format.

An exciting activity the Board has undertaken is the Becoming Certified Initiative. This initiative, led by the Becoming Certified Task Force with input from the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG), is examining all aspects of initial certification. A Summit was recently held at which representatives from all major EM organizations joined the Task Force and the SAG to gather stakeholders who represent many different perspectives to work collaboratively to explore the future of Emergency Medicine, and to develop ideas to improve the ABEM certification process. The ideas and themes generated will now be included in the Task Force’s growing inventory of ideas and possibilities. They will be working to refine and adapt these ideas into action plans in the coming months. (You can read more about the Summit here.) We encourage anyone with ideas and input to share their comments here. You can also opt to receive email updates on Task Force activities here.

ABEM works to add value to your certification by providing additional professional opportunities. The first Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasonography (AEMUS) Focused Practice Designation (FPD) Exam was administered in March. The development of the FPD and the examination have been the result of years of work by experts in the field, the Ultrasound community, and the AEMUS Examination Committee. ABEM salutes you all! As a result of your endeavors, approximately 280 physicians were the first to earn the AEMUS designation.

Another opportunity in development is subspecialty certification in Health Care Administration, Leadership, and Management (HALM). ABEM is applying to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to be the administering board for this certification. The ACGME has already developed fellowship requirements for HALM. ABEM, along with several other ABMS member boards, are working to develop an application to the ABMS for approval for this subspecialty certification. This subspecialty will add value to ABEM certified physicians as it helps support emergency physicians as leaders in hospital, regional, and national health care organizations.

ABEM will continue to seek ways to improve the value of your certification. You provide frontline care to the ill and injured, and we work diligently to uphold that value and the standards for certification. Thank you for all that you do.

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