Emergency Medicine Training, Competency and Professional Practice Principles

Reaffirmed January 2024, June 2018, April 2012

Revised January 2006

Originally approved November 2001


Emergency medicine is recognized as a specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association. Responsibilities of specialty status include accrediting graduate medical education training programs and credentialing physicians as certified specialists. These responsibilities require creating standards for competency and defining professional practice principles.

Emergency physicians provide care and make treatment decisions based on real time evaluation of patients' history, physical findings and many diagnostic studies, including the interpretation of electrocardiographs, imaging studies and laboratory tests. Emergency physicians possess a wide range of skills to treat injuries and illnesses and perform many interventions including but not limited to resuscitative procedures and trauma stabilization in patients of all ages.

It is the role and responsibility of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM) to set and approve the training standards, assess competency through board certification processes and establish professional practice principles for emergency physicians.

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