ACEP Joins Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges

Updated April 27, 2017
Originally posted March 30, 2017 

The American College of Emergency Physicians is pleased to announce a historic collaboration involving nearly every major emergency medicine organization: The Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges. Coalition members include the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)
  • American Academy of Emergency Medicine/Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA)
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM)
  • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  • American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)
  • American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM)
  • Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine (AACEM)
  • Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD)
  • Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA)
  • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM)

Board-certified emergency physicians who actively maintain their board certification should not be required to complete short-course certification in advanced resuscitation, trauma care, stroke care, cardiovascular care, procedural sedation, or pediatric care in order to obtain or maintain medical staff privileges to work in an emergency department. Similarly, mandatory targeted continuing medical education (CME) requirements do not offer any meaningful value for the public or for the emergency physician who has achieved and maintained board certification. Such requirements are often promulgated by others who incompletely understand the foundation of knowledge and skills acquired by successfully completing an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education–accredited or American Osteopathic Association–approved Emergency Medicine residency program. These “merit badges” add no additional value for board-certified emergency physicians. Instead, they devalue the board certification process, failing to recognize the rigor of the ABEM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program and the AOBEM Osteopathic Continuous Certification program. In essence, medical merit badges set a lower bar than a diplomate’s education, training, and ongoing learning, as measured by initial board certification and maintenance of certification.

The Coalition finds no rational justification to require medical merit badges for board-certified emergency physicians who maintain their board certification. Our committed professional organizations provide the best opportunities for continuous professional development, and medical merit badges dismiss the quality of those educational efforts.

Opposing the requirements for medical merit badges will be a long and challenging struggle. It will take time to help administrators and regulatory bodies to better understand the rigorous standards to which we adhere as board-certified emergency physicians. In the coming months, we will develop our long-term strategy to create success and a pathway to recognize clinical excellence.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions as to how we can best succeed. In the near future, we will ask for strong support and a loud and unified voice.

We will persist and we are up to the challenge—we are board-certified emergency physicians. Opposing medical merit badges is the right thing to do for our specialty. We will forever demonstrate a lifelong commitment to caring for anyone who is ill or injured, at any time, for any reason.

Kevin G. Rodgers, MD
President, AAEM

Mary Haas, MD
President, AAEM/RSA

Michael L. Carius, MD
President, ABEM

Rebecca B. Parker, MD
President, ACEP

John C. Prestosh, DO
President, ACOEP

John DeSalvo, DO
Chair, AOBEM

Richard Zane, MD
President, AACEM

Saadia Akhtar, MD
President, CORD

Alicia Kurtz, MD
President, EMRA

Andra L. Blomkalns, MD
President, SAEM

  1. #1 by Kathleen Clem - March 31st, 2017 at 07:35

    This represents an outstanding example of professional collaboration for the specialty of Emergency Medicine. A big shout-out of thanks to all of you.

  2. #2 by Mike Taylor - April 1st, 2017 at 07:36

    How about all now involved asking for due process for emergency physicians and other fairness concerns.

  3. #3 by Horea Kaii - September 17th, 2019 at 08:36


  4. #4 by Teether Pop - September 17th, 2019 at 08:39


  5. #5 by Teether Pop - September 17th, 2019 at 08:40

    This is wonderful!

  6. #6 by click - September 25th, 2019 at 09:32

    Im happy that they have done something good this time.

  7. #7 by - September 25th, 2019 at 10:02

    Why are they always the opposing party? Hmm. Im starting to wonder.

  8. #8 by Scott Keever SEO Washington DC - September 26th, 2019 at 08:54

    Great move to stop self-entitlement. This is wonderful! 🙂

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    I just hope that they will push it through!

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    Great to see the addition of the club.

  11. #11 by Contact us - October 24th, 2019 at 08:37

    Amazing post!

  12. #12 by Check us out - October 24th, 2019 at 08:41

    Best opportunities provided by this organzation. Cheers!

  13. #13 by About us - October 24th, 2019 at 08:50

    Excellent commitment!

  14. #14 by - October 24th, 2019 at 09:11

    Great moves!

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    This is a good new!

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    This is a great new!

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    This is a great move. I hope we can encourage more.

  18. #18 by uno cards - November 15th, 2019 at 05:52

    Great move to stop self-entitlement. We hope to encourage more.

  19. #19 by tree pruning - November 25th, 2019 at 03:10

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    Thanks for all those who committed.

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    Thanks a lot, ACEP!

  22. #22 by Realtor Miami Locations - January 2nd, 2020 at 12:07

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  23. #23 by rug and mat cleaning hamilton - January 10th, 2020 at 06:17

    ACEP Joins Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges. Updated April 27, 2017. Originally posted March 30, 2017.

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  25. #25 by Elgin Maid Service - January 17th, 2020 at 13:34

    Great communication and collaboration to get this done.

  26. #26 by floor polishing auckland - January 23rd, 2020 at 20:50

    In a historic collaboration, 10 major emergency medicine organizations have joined forces to create The Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges (COMMB).

  27. #27 by WarmSculpting by Sculpsure - January 30th, 2020 at 19:26

    Credit to all to make such a strong all-encompassing body. Well represented by all emergency medical disciplines.

  28. #28 by roof repair - February 9th, 2020 at 18:49

    I hope everything goes to the right place. Always in accordance to the law should be the utmost consideration.

  29. #29 by house cleaning hamilton - February 17th, 2020 at 19:48

    Even if the majority does a thing if it is not right then you must not do it. Same with vice versa, even if you are the only one doing it if it is right then go ahead.

  30. #30 by Chiropractor Scarborough - February 21st, 2020 at 13:48

    Merit badges are another reason why we are falling short in the medical field. I’m glad the topic is open and looked into.

  31. #31 by - February 25th, 2020 at 02:58

    In a historic collaboration, 10 major emergency medicine organizations have joined forces to create The Coalition to Oppose Medical Merit Badges (COMMB).

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