Recognition of Subspecialty Boards In Emergency Medicine

Revised February 2020, January 2014

Originally approved August 2007


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recognizes the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) as the only umbrella organizations authorized to establish and regulate medical specialty boards in the United States.

ACEP recognizes and supports the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) as the certifying bodies in emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine.

ACEP believes the broad discipline of emergency medicine provides opportunities for the development of focused areas of special competence and expertise. The ABMS and AOA provide mechanisms whereby a parent board can recognize such special competence through subspecialty certification or certificates of added qualification. Through these processes, ABEM and AOBEM offer appropriately trained and credentialed diplomates the opportunity to sit for examinations to demonstrate their special competence. Successful candidates are awarded subspecialty certification or a certificate of added qualification.

ACEP recognizes only those emergency medicine subspecialty certifications developed and maintained through the ABMS/AOA process.

Appropriately trained and credentialed ABEM diplomates are eligible to sit for certification examinations in the subspecialties of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Internal Medicine-Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology, Neurocritical Care, Pain Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine, and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.  ACEP recognizes that ABEM-certified physicians can obtain subspecialty certification offered by other ABMS member boards in Addiction Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, Clinical Informatics, and Surgical Critical Care.

AOBEM diplomates are eligible to sit for examinations to establish Certification of Added Qualification in Emergency Medical Services and Medical Toxicology. ACEP recognizes that AOBEM-certified physicians can obtain subspecialty certification offered by AOA Conjoint Examination Committees in Hospice and Palliative Care, Sports Medicine, and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. 

All future subspecialty board certifications and focused practice designations approved by ABEM or certificates of added qualification approved by AOBEM will be recognized by ACEP.

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