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Disaster Medicine Eligibility

Revised July 2013

In order for an applicant to be considered qualified to sit for the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM) written examination, the applicant must:

ABPS General Requirements:

1. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession and be active specialist in Disaster Medicine.

2. Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine holding an M.D. or D.O. degree. In the case of foreign medical schools, an English transcription of the document is also required. Graduates of foreign medical schools must also include a copy of their Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.

3. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada.

4. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order.

5. Residency - All applicants must have completed residency training in a program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or have a current board certification granted on or before December 1, 2001.

ABoDM Specific Requirements:

6. Board CertificationAll applicants must have a current, unexpired board board certification by granted by an ABMS, AOA, ABPS or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) board.

7. Disaster Medicine Experience & Training – All applicants must qualify under at least one of the following:

a. Fellowship – Applicants must document successful completion of a disaster medicine fellowship or equivalent training.

b. Field Experience – Successful completion of seven days total deployment to one or more disaster venues with recognized disaster medicine agency.  Recognized agencies include, but are not limited to, a National Disaster Medical System Disaster Medical Assistance Team (NDMS/DMAT), National Disaster Medical System Urban Search & Rescue (NDMS/US&R), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), International Red Cross/Red Crescent (ICRC), Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United Nations (UN) and military deployments.

Applicants must submit a brief summary of the nature and scope of each deployment along with documentation of their participation and length of deployment from an appropriate representative of the agency.

c. Training & Community Engagement- Applicants must complete all the following:

      • Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) course AND
      • Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS) course AND
      • Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS) course or participation in a functional or full field exercise AND
      • a minimum of one year’s active participation on a national, state, regional, county, hospital, or healthcare agency or facility disaster committee

8.  FEMA Emergency Management Institute Courses – Submit documentation of successful completion of required FEMA courses.  These courses are available for free and can be completed online.  More information can be found on the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s website,

9. Disaster Medicine CME – Submit documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of disaster medicine-related, AMA Category 1 CME earned within the last 2 years.  All hours must be clearly collated and summarized.  The board recommends using the ABPS CME Form.

Additional Application Requirements:

10. Submit a complete Disaster Medicine application form including the required application fee, two (2) passport-size photographs taken within the last 90 days, and notarized signature on the Sworn Statement.

12. Sign and submit the ABPS Disclosure and Authorization to obtain Criminal Background Reports form.

13. Sign and submit the ABPS Examinations Complaints and Appeals Process form.

14. Sign and submit the ABPS Board Certification Data form.

14. U.S. physicians must perform a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit this sealed report, unopened and in the original envelope mailed from NPDB, to ABPS as part of the application. All Canadian physicians must request and submit a testament statement from each province in which a license is held, verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.

15. Provide three (3) Letters of Recommendation from Diplomates of any ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC Board of Certification. All letters of recommendation must be printed on letterhead, must be dated within the twelve months prior to the submission of the application, and must include an original signature, author contact information for the author, and should indicate the board certification(s) held by the author. Copies are not acceptable. These letters do not need to be mailed directly to ABPS, but can be included with the applicant’s materials and certification application.