Providers of Unsupervised Emergency Department Care

Revised and approved by the ACEP Board of Directors June 2013
Reaffirmed by the ACEP Board of Directors October 2007
Originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors June 2001


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) endorses the 2000 position statement of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) on the “Qualifications for Unsupervised Emergency Department Care,” and believes that the independent practice of emergency medicine is best performed by specialists who have completed American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) or American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM) certification, or have successfully “completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accredited emergency medicine residency, and is in the process of completing ABEM or AOBEM examinations.”1

“Residents-in-training or other physicians who do not meet these criteria are less likely to possess the cognitive and technical skill set necessary for rendering unsupervised care for the tremendous breadth and acuity of situations encountered in an ED.”1

ACEP believes that advanced practice registered nurses or physician assistants should not provide unsupervised emergency department care.

ACEP believes that “unsupervised ED practice is best provided by fully trained emergency medicine specialists.”1

1. SAEM Position Statement on the Qualifications for Unsupervised Emergency Department Care. Acad Emerg Med. 2000;7:929.

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