Medical Education

ABA, ABEM Announce Combined Residency for EM/Anesthesia

The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) have announced the launch of a new option for combined residency training in emergency medicine and anesthesiology. The combined program will require 5 years of residency training and will prepare residents for certification in both specialties.

Residency programs seeking to offer this combined training must be approved by both the ABEM and the ABA before residents are recruited. To be eligible for dual certification, residents must satisfactorily complete 60 months of combined education, which must be verified by both programs. The duration of training will increase to 72 months if the combined program involves a 4-year EM residency. Physicians may take the initial certification examinations for either board after they successfully complete all 5 (or 6) years of training.

"This ABEM and ABA collaboration provides opportunities for training programs to enhance the depth and breadth of multidisciplinary residency training, which can enhance patient care in systems-based medical practice," said James P. Rathmell, MD, ABA Secretary. "It also addresses a demand from residents interested in both emergency medicine and anesthesiology."

ABEM President Barry N. Heller, MD, said the combined training "will reduce redundancies and increase efficiency" in training. "Furthermore, graduates will be prepared to serve as leaders in either specialty, with access to a broader array of career opportunities," Heller said.

The combined training program requirements and application are available on the ABA and ABEM websites ( and Both boards are currently accepting applications from programs interested in offering this training.

About the American Board of Anesthesiology

The mission of the American Board of Anesthesiology ® (ABA) is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care. The Board administers primary and subspecialty certification exams as well as the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program ® (MOCA ®), which is designed to promote lifelong learning, a commitment to quality clinical outcomes and patient safety. Based in Raleigh, N.C., the ABA is a nonprofit organization and a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS).

About the American Board of Emergency Medicine

Founded in 1976, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) develops and administers the Emergency Medicine certification examination for physicians who have met the ABEM credentialing requirements. ABEM has over 33,500 emergency physicians currently certified. ABEM is not a membership organization, but a nonprofit, independent evaluation organization. ABEM is one of 24 Member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.