Recent Modifications to the Eligibility Requirements for Disaster Medicine Board Certification

Disaster Medicine RequirementsThe American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM) was created to provide a platform for physicians who wish to demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies required to practice disaster medicine. Board certification eligibility requirements for the ABODM were recently modified.

The changes, which are listed below, do not supersede the general eligibility requirements for the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

Under the new requirements, Disaster Medicine Board Certification applicants must have a current, unexpired board certification granted the ABMS, AOA, ABPS or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Applicants also must have at least one of the following forms of disaster medicine experience and training:

  • Completion of an approved fellowship
  • Successful completion of seven days’ field experience, with total deployment to one or more disaster venues with a recognized disaster agency.

Training and community engagement, as shown by completion of the following:

  • Basic Disaster Life Support
  • Core Disaster Life Support
  • Advanced Disaster Life Support (or full field exercise equivalent)
  • At least one year of active participation on a national, state, regional, county, hospital or healthcare agency or facility disaster committee

Applicants must also submit documentation of successful completion of four free courses offered online through FEMA. These courses focus on the processes and procedures for national disaster response and the incident command system. For more information, check the FEMA Emergency Management Institute website.

In addition, applications must submit documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of disaster-medicine related, AMA Category 1 continuing medical education earned within the past two years. All hours must be clearly collated and summarized.

As always, the new requirements do no supersede the general eligibility requirements of the ABPS, which include:

  • Conformity with the Code of Ethics of the ABPS.
  • Graduation from 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
  • Possession of a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada
  • Submission of a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order

Contact the ABPS to learn more about the changes to the eligibility requirements for Disaster Medicine Board Certification. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.


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.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine