EMS Cognitive Expertise Exam

EMS Cognitive Expertise Exam

EMS-certified physicians must pass the EMS Cognitive Expertise Examination to renew their EMS certification. The examination consists of a secure, proctored, comprehensive examination administered in Pearson VUE professional computer-based testing centers across the United States. This is the same exam that is administered to initial certification candidates. 

Key Features

  • The examination will consist of appropriately 300 multiple choice questions
  • Examination questions will focus on what the practicing physician in EMS needs to know.
  • The questions will be derived from The Core Content of EMS Medicine.
  • The examination is delivered a single day in odd-numbered years.
  • Passing the Cognitive Expertise Examination early does not renew a diplomate’s certificate.
  • EMS diplomates can register and take the exam during the scheduled EMS Cognitive Expertise Examination administration in years six through ten of their certification.
  • EMS-certified physicians are not required to meet other MOC requirements to take the Cognitive Expertise Examination. However, certification can only be renewed if all EMS MOC requirements are completed.

Content Specifications

The Core Content of EMS Medicine is the basis for all EMS examination content. The 2012 Core Content of Emergency Medical Services Medicine defines the content for the initial certification examination for EMS.
Core Content of EMS Medicine [Word]
Core Content of EMS Medicine [PDF] 

It is published in Prehospital Emergency Care. Perina DG, Pons PT, Blackwell TH, Bogucki S, Brice JH, Cunningham CA, Delbridge TR, Gausche-Hill M, Gerard WC, Gratton MC, Mosesso Jr. VN, Pirrallo RG, Rinnert KJ, Sahni R., for EMS Examination Task Force; Harvey AL, Kowalenko T; for American Board of Emergency Medicine; Buckendahl CW, O’Leary LS, Stokes M; for Alpine Testing Solutions. The core content of emergency medical services medicine. Prehosp Emerg Care 2012;16(3):309-22. Epub 2012 Jan 10

The distribution of test questions on the EMS Certification Examination by Core Content areas are as follows:

Clinical Aspects of EMS Medicine 40%
Medical Oversight of EMS 30%
Quality Management and Research 10%
Special Operations 20%

Sample Exam Questions