Board Certification for Disaster Medicine Specialists

Disaster SpecialistsThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) recommends board certification in disaster medicine to any physician who would like to take a lead role when it comes to disaster preparation, response, and recovery in his or her community. It is, in many respects, a “second” specialty for many physicians, primarily because when disaster strikes, doctors are almost always on the front lines. Quite often, government leaders will look to physicians for guidance when it comes to triage in a disaster setting, providing effective care with potentially limited resources, and providing psychological first aid and medical treatment for civilian victims and emergency workers alike.

The ABPS is the only multi-specialty physician certification body to offer disaster medicine certification and recertification through the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM). ABODM board certification in disaster medicine provides those who choose to specialize in this field tangible proof that they have mastered the core competencies required to lead when it comes to disaster preparation, response, and recovery. Disaster medicine specialist certification reinforces to federal, state, and local government officials that disaster-certified physicians are qualified to contribute to relief and recovery during the time of a disaster. In an ideal world, every hospital would have at least one physician who is certified in disaster medicine.

Board certification in disaster medicine focuses on everything a physician will need to know in order to become a recognized leader in the four primary stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing. Certification allows a physician to demonstrate expertise in the core competencies related to disaster planning and response, including, but not limited to:

  • A basic knowledge of the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System
  • The importance of safety in disaster responses, including protective equipment, decontamination, and site security
  • The principles of triage in a disaster setting
  • The clinical competence to provide effective care with extremely limited resources
  • Understanding of psychological first aid and caring for responders

To learn more about board certification in disaster medicine and the ABODM, or for details about eligibility requirements for certification from the American Board of Disaster Medicine, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.



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

ABPS board certification validates a physician's competence in their medical specialty. This is important to a patient seeking medical care. Physician recertification through ABPS assures that we maintain knowledge and expertise throughout our career. The ABPS is a collegial and committed organization of physicians and administrative staff. The organization has given me the opportunity to become involved in all facets of the board certification process and physician governance.

Lawrence Stein, MD, FAASOS
Orthopedic Surgery
ABPS is a leading advocate for its Diplomates, their patients, and the public at large by promoting high-quality evidence-based patient care. ABPS certifies physicians through industry-leading rigorous examinations in various boards and offers continuous recertification making sure that these physicians are qualified to practice safe state of the art medicine.

Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
In this time of uncertainty, Disaster Medicine Certification has helped tremendously to demonstrate to hospital leadership my commitment to disaster preparedness and knowledge of planning, response, and mitigation. ABODM certification focuses on the knowledge and skills a physician needs to become a recognized leader in the four stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing.

Lewis W, Marshall, MD, JD, FAAEP, FAADM
Disaster Medicine | Emergency Medicine