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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. 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.
  2. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession and be active specialist in Disaster Medicine.
  3. Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine confirmed by a copy of an allopathic/osteopathic degree or a letter of verification from the institution where the degree was earned. In the case of foreign medical schools, an English translation 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. Canadian medical schools and medical training programs are considered equivalent to U.S. medical schools and medical training programs.
  4. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  5. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order.

ABoDM Specific Requirements:

  1. 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. The ABPS accepts medical residencies approved by the RCPSC and CFPC, including approved residencies outside Canada.
  2. Board Certification - – All applicants must have a current, unexpired board  certification by granted by an ABPS, American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) board.
  3. Disaster Medicine Experience & Training – All applicants must qualify under at least one of the following:
    1. Fellowship – Applicants must document successful completion of a disaster medicine fellowship or equivalent training.
    2. 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.
    3. Training & Community Engagement- Applicants must complete all the following:
      1. Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) course AND
      2. Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS) course AND
      3. Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS) course or participation in a functional or full field exercise AND
      4. a minimum of one year’s active participation on a national, state, regional, county, hospital, or healthcare agency or facility disaster committee
  4. 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, http://training.fema.gov/is/.
  5. 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:

  1. Submit three (3) letters of recommendation from Diplomates of an ABPS, ABMS, or AOA-recognized 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.
  2. U.S. physicians must do a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit a sealed (unopened envelope) copy of the report as part of the application process. For information on performing a self-query of the Bank, go to the website www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov. 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.
  3. Sign and submit the ABPS Disclosure and Authorization to obtain Criminal Background Reports form.
  4. Sign and submit the ABPS Examinations Complaints and Appeals Process form.
  5. Payment of appropriate fees. To view fee schedule, click here.

The ABODM recommends that the applicant keep a copy of all application documents submitted to the ABPS.