As a push toward specialty status for emergency medicine emerged in the medical community in the late 1960s and 1970s, the need for formal residency training in emergency medicine gained momentum.
Over the next 20 years, the University Association for Emergency Medicine (UAEM) and the Society of Teachers of Emergency Medicine (STEM) helped to promote and develop the emergency medicine specialty. When UAEM and STEM merged to become Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) in 1989, program directors continued to have their own association by forming the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) that same year.
Since then, emergency medicine training has continued to be refined in a variety of ways. Here’s a brief history of the evolution of emergency medicine residency training.
1970: The University of Cincinnati created the first emergency medicine residency program. Bruce Janiak, MD, FACEP became the first emergency medicine resident.
1974: The Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) was formed.
1976: The American Medical Association Council on Medical Education and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) reviewed the first application by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) seeking primary board status, which was not approved. At that time, 31 emergency medicine residency programs were awaiting accreditation.
1979: ABMS recognized emergency medicine as the 23rd medical specialty.
The first osteopathic emergency medicine residency program began at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine.
1980: ABEM offered the first certification exam in emergency medicine.
1981: The first American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine exam was offered.
1989: SAEM formed from UAEM and STEM.
CORD was created.
The ACEP Teaching Fellowship began.
1995: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Review Committee for Emergency Medicine limited emergency medicine residents to 60 clinical hours per week in the emergency department.
1996: CORD faculty development held its first conference.
CORD developed the standard letter of recommendation for medical students.
2004: The Emergency Medicine Residency Coordinators became part of CORD.
2014: ACGME began accrediting osteopathic programs with allopathic programs, standardizing the requirements.
2018: ACGME accredited 231 emergency medicine programs and 133 fellowship programs, which have 7,583 residents.
CORD serves more than 250 individual residency programs and more than 2,000 individual faculty and coordinators.
EMRA is the largest and oldest independent resident organization in the world. Its membership includes more than 16,000 residents, medical students, and alumni.
Dr. Wagner is chief academic officer and designated institutional officer at CMU Medical Education Partners and professor of emergency medicine at Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Saginaw.