The ABMS Member Boards - Emergency Medicine

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American Board of Emergency Medicine
3000 Coolidge Road
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 332-4800

Emergency Medicine

A physician who specializes in Emergency Medicine focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability both in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and in the emergency department. This specialist provides immediate recognition, evaluation, care, stabilization and disposition of a generally diversified population of adult and pediatric patients in response to acute illness and injury.

Specialty training required prior to Board Certification: Three years


To become certified in a particular subspecialty, a physician must be Board Certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and complete additional training as specified by the Member Board.

  • Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in Critical Care Medicine diagnoses and treats patients with critical illnesses or injuries, particularly trauma victims and patients with multiple organ dysfunction who require care over a period of hours, days or weeks. These physicians also coordinate patient care among the primary physician, critical care staff and other specialists and their primary base of operation is the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital.

  • Emergency Medical Services
    An Emergency Medicine physician specializing in Emergency Medical Services has special knowledge and skills for the delivery of medical care of the acutely ill or injured patient in the pre-hospital setting. This care includes the inital patient treatment, stabilization and transportation in specially equipped ambulances and medical helicopters. The inital care for conditions such as heart attack or stroke may occur in patient homes, public places and wilderness settings. These medical specialists perform life-saving procedures outside the hospital setting, sometimes when people are still trapped in cars or buildings.

  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in Hospice and Palliative Medicine provides care to prevent and relieve the suffering experienced by patients with life-limiting illnesses. This specialist works with an interdisciplinary hospice or palliative care team to optimize quality of life while addressing the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of both patient and family. 

  • Internal Medicine-Critical Care Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician trained in Critical Care Medicine has expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and support of critically ill and injured patients, particularly trauma victims, and patients with multiple organ dysfunction. This physician also coordinates patient care among the primary physician, critical care staff and other specialists.

  • Medical Toxicology
    Medical Toxicologists are physicians who specialize in the prevention, evaluation, treatment and monitoring of injury and illness from exposures to drugs and chemicals, as well as biological and radiological agents. These specialists care for people in clinical, academic, governmental and public health settings, and provide poison control center leadership. Important areas of Medical Toxicology include acute drug poisoning; adverse drug events; drug abuse, addiction and withdrawal; chemicals and hazardous materials; terrorism preparedness; venomous bites and stings; and environmental and workplace exposures.

  • Pain Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in Pain Medicine provides care for patients with acute, chronic, and/or cancer pain in an emergency department setting while coordinating patient care needs with other specialists.

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in Pediatric Emergency Medicine has special qualifications to manage emergency treatments in acutely ill or injured infants and children.

  • Sports Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to participating in sports and/or exercise. In addition to the study of those fields that focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of injuries, sports medicine also deals with illnesses and diseases that might have effects on health and physical performance.

  • Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
    An Emergency Medicine physician who specializes in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine treats decompression illness and diving accident cases and uses hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat such conditions as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, non-healing wounds, tissue damage from radiation and burns and bone infections. This specialist also serves as consultant to other physicians in all aspects of hyperbaric chamber operations, and assesses risks and applies appropriate standards to prevent disease and disability in divers and other persons working in altered atmospheric conditions.

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Tips for safe and effective care during a visit to the emergency room

Provide as much information as you can about how you are feeling.

Know the names of the medications you take, the allergies you have and your blood type.

Have someone go with you, especially if English is not your first language.

Ask questions as you think of them.

Make sure anyone who touches you has washed or sanitized their hands.

Ask for copies of your test results and written instructions to follow once you get home.

Follow up with your primary care physician.

Learn more about general questions to ask your doctor >

Learn more about how to make the most of your office visit >

Learn more about how to check physician qualifications >