Disaster Medicine Eligibility

Updated February 2018

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 (ABPS), 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 U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine. International graduates must also hold a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
  3. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

ABoDM Training and Experience:

  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 Specialties (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 (A., B., or C.):
    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 any ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC Board of Certification. All letters of recommendation must be signed by the author, printed on letterhead, dated within the twelve month period just  prior to the submission of the application, and must include author contact and board certification information.
  2. All U.S. physicians must perform a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit the report. Get your self-query report at www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov. All Canadian physicians must request a Testament Statement from each province in which a license is held verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
  3. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order.
Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine