News and Updates

In this issue . . .
President's Message  •  From the Front Lines  •  Certification Updates  •  ABEM Updates


Jill M. Baren, M.D., M.S., M.B.A

Our lives have changed in totally unprecedented ways, both professionally and personally, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us, including myself, have contracted the virus and some of our colleagues have tragically died. Our families, friends, and co-workers may also be suffering. But I know that collectively, we as emergency physicians will stand resolute in treating our patients on the front lines.

In these extraordinary times, we are all operating in ways we had never before imagined. We are evaluating and treating nearly all patients wearing protective equipment, we are being bombarded with information about daily changes in workflow and new treatment algorithms, and we are having to take extreme precautions when we return to our homes so as not to risk exposing our families. ABEM recognizes that in these unique times we, as an organization, need to function in new ways to reflect your reality, ways that will assist you with the goal that preserves your ability to attain and retain your certification. We have taken a number of actions that we hope will allow you to focus appropriately on the work that is needed during this pandemic.

  • We are offering the ConCert Exam online as an open-book test
  • We are relaxing deadlines by providing you an additional six months—until June 30, 2021—to complete your requirements
  • The yearly minimum of successfully completed training time will be reduced from 46 to 44 weeks for those in quarantine

Read more

The past two months have been some of the most physically and mentally exhausting of my career, but I have never been more proud to be an emergency physician. Our specialty holds a critical role in our society and being there on the front lines when our patients need us the most is an incredible and humbling honor. ABEM and all its certified physicians have much to be proud of.

~ Wallace A. Carter, M.D., NYU-Presbyterian, and ABEM Director
We chose this profession to care for those in need. Despite all the chaos, isolation, and loneliness that coronavirus can bring, we are all clear that we are one team looking out for each other and those who need us! I am so proud of our front lines who prove every day that together, we really are stronger.

~ Yvette Calderon, M.D., Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York, and ABEM Director
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words . . .
Thank you for who you are and all you do.
Emergency physicians are facing unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19. ABEM recognizes this and is making changes to support you. Please refer to the COVID-19 page of the website for the most recent updates.

  • The spring administration of the ConCert Exam and Oral Certification Examination have been canceled
  • No administrative fees will be applied to refunds related to the cancelation of the exams
  • Information about the timing of the exams will soon be available on the ABEM website
Please contact ABEM at 517-332-4800 or with questions related to your individual circumstances.
ConCert Exam Now Online, Open Book

The ConCert Exam will now be offered in an online, open book format.
This exam will be offered in two three-week windows during 2020, one in the summer and one in the fall. There will be no additional cost to test takers—exam fees will remain the same.

Frequently Asked Questions
Certification Deadlines Relaxed

2020 certification deadlines will be relaxed to June 2021
. Physicians with certification requirements due December 31, 2020 will have untl June 30, 2021 to meet requirements.
Residency Training

For residents who experience a two-week period of quarantine, the yearly minimum of successfully completed training time is reduced from 46 to 44 weeks for this academic year.

Additional details

Certification Precludes Need for Merit Badges

The Coalition on Medical Merit Badges—an alliance that includes every major Emergency Medicine organization—recently issued two statements:

  • A call for an immediate suspension of additional certifications or short courses, such as BLS, ACLS, PALS, and ATLS, needed to obtain or maintain hospital privileges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full statement.
  • A notice that certification by the ABEM or the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine precludes any short-course requirement such as Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) to care for pediatric patients in an emergency department. Read the full statement.
ABEM Sponsors Virtual Resident Training Event

To promote asynchronous learning among residents during the pandemic, ABEM sponsored two live, online events by AliEM Connect. Each two-hour virtual grand rounds hosted six lectures. The event was spearheaded by Michele Lin, M.D., ALiEM’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief. Over 1,000 residents and more than 60 programs participated in the first event, and 700 residents from more than 52 programs in the second (many also watched the recording afterward). ABEM President Jill M. Baren, M.D., joined the second event to provide a quick update about actions taken to preserve certification and eligibility for residents. Links to resident-related policies and recent decisions were shared, and ABEM Director Felix K. Ankel, M.D., and ABEM staff were available to answer questions throughout the events.
ABEM Board of Directors Elects Three New Members, Including First Public Member

Three new members were elected to the ABEM Board of Directors: James D. Barry, M.D.; Hala Durrah, M.T.A.; and Suzanne R. White, M.D. The election of Ms. Durrah marks a historical milestone for ABEM as she will serve as the Board’s first public member. Read the full release.
Over 660 Physicians Recognized for 30 Years of Certification

This spring, ABEM awarded over 660 physicians with certificates in honor of their being ABEM certified for 30 years as of December 31, 2019. Review the full list of recipients.
AEMUS Exam Committee Meets for the First Time
The Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasound (AEMUS) Exam Committee—the group that will write the exams for the AEMUS Focused Practice Designation—met for the first time at ABEM headquarters March 2-3. Read more.
EMS Exam Committee Meets
The EMS Exam Committee met November 19-20, 2019. Read more.
Medical Toxicology Subboard Meets
The Medical Toxicology Subboard met December 5-6, 2019. Read more.
ABMS Soliciting Applicants for Visiting Scholar Program

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is seeking applicants for its Visiting Scholars Program. It is a one-year, part-time program open to early-career physicians and others with advanced degrees. Six emergency physicians have been awarded scholarships since the program’s inception in 2014-2015. The application deadline has been extended to July 1, 2020. More information is available on the ABMS website.
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