• Sports Medicine Certification Application Requirements and Credentialing Process

    To begin the Sports Medicine subspecialty certification process, a physician must fulfill the following credential requirements.

    Primary Certification

    The physician must be a diplomate in good standing of the American Board of Emergency Medicine. The primary certification must be valid in order for the subspecialty certification to remain valid.

    Professional Education

    For admission to the certification examination in Sports Medicine, the diplomate must have completed a Sports Medicine Fellowship. The Sports Medicine Eligibility Criteria for Certification describes the fellowship training requirements.

    Physicians who entered training in Sports Medicine on or after July 1, 2000, are required to have completed their training in a Sports Medicine fellowship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

    Medical Licensure

    Applicants, candidates, and diplomates must hold a current, active, valid, unrestricted, and unqualified license to practice medicine in at least one jurisdiction in the United States, its territories, or Canada, and in each jurisdiction in which they practice. All licenses held by the applicants, candidates, and diplomates must continuously fulfill the above stated criteria.

    Licenses that have been revoked, suspended, surrendered, or not renewed in order to terminate or settle disciplinary proceedings do not qualify as meeting the ABEM requirements for medical licensure, and all such licenses must be reported to ABEM for review and consideration. ABEM will determine if the situation is cause to deny an applicant's certification application, deny a candidate access to an examination, or revoke a diplomate's certificate.

    Obtain a Sports Medicine Subspecialty Certification Application

    Physicians applying for the Sports Medicine subspecialty certification examination must complete the current year’s certification application form. The application form is available from the ABEM office.

    Complete the Sports Medicine Subspecialty Certification Application

    Instructions for completing the Sports Medicine certification application are included with the application. Falsification of any part of the application or the required documentation may result in revocation of any certificate issued or other appropriate sanctions as set forth in the application.

    Physicians with questions about the credential requirements or any portion of the Sports Medicine subspecialty certification application should call the ABEM office for clarification and assistance before submitting their applications.

    Submit the Application

    ABEM strongly encourages physicians to submit their applications well before the deadline dates and to mail them using a method that provides confirmation of delivery.

    Physicians should also ensure that the postmark date is clearly discernable, since the postmark date is used to determine whether the application can be processed within the regular application cycle.

    The following items must be submitted for an application to be complete:

    1. A completed, signed, and notarized current year Application for Examination in the Subspecialty of Sports Medicine
    2. The application fee and the examination fee in U.S. funds. This application fee covers the cost of processing the application only, and cannot be refunded under any circumstances.
    3. Additional items included in the application materials or referred to in the application instructions, if applicable. These may include: documentation of name change, a copy of a foreign medical school diploma, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accommodation request form.

    ABEM recommends that physicians retain a photocopy of each form and supporting document submitted to ABEM. Applications and related information become the property of the ABEM, and submitted documentation will not be returned to the physician.

    Credentialing Process

    ABEM processes applications as they are received. ABEM checks to ensure that the application is complete and that the physician has submitted the required items, including the appropriate payment. An application cannot be processed without full payment.

    If payment is included, but other items are missing or incomplete, ABEM can begin processing the application, but a final review cannot be completed until all information is received.

    ABEM verifies a physician's credentials as part of the application processing. ABEM reserves the right, at any time, to request additional documentation pertaining to the application, and any information requested on the application. ABEM may solicit such information from sources listed on the application, any licensing board, other persons, and third party organizations. Should any questions or problems arise with regard to credentials, ABEM will contact the physician.

    ABEM mails written notification regarding whether the physician has met the credential requirements. If an application is not accepted as fulfilling these requirements, ABEM will include instructions for the reconsideration or appeal of the credential decision with the letter of notification.

    All credential decisions are communicated in writing over the signature of the president, secretary-treasurer, or as otherwise specified in ABEM policies and procedures.

    Application Postmark Date

    The postmark date is used to determine whether an application falls within the normal application cycle.

    The rules governing postmark date are as follows:

    • The physician is responsible for ensuring that the postmark date is clearly legible.
    • If the postmark date is not legible, the date ABEM receives the application will be used in lieu of a postmark date.

    One way to ensure postmark date legibility is to use a method of mail delivery that provides the sender with proof of postmark.


    The American Board of Emergency Medicine maintains an appeal procedure for candidates whose applications are determined not to fulfill the credential requirements.