Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine



Overview of the Specialty

Emergency medicine is the specialty that focuses on the recognition, evaluation, and care of patients who are acutely ill or injured. It is a high-pressure, fast-paced and diverse specialty that requires a broad base of medical knowledge and a variety of well-honed clinical and technical skills. The emphasis is on pre-hospital care and the acute care aspects of the other specialties. Emergency physicians treat all age groups in a myriad of conditions with varying degrees of severity. Emergency medicine training also encompasses clinical areas such as disaster medicine and mass gatherings.

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of three years of postgraduate education in one of 3 formats (PGY 1-3, PGY 2-4 with separate internship, PGY 1-4). There are 153 ACGME accredited Emergency Medicine training programs for the 2012/2013 recruitment cycle, offering more than 1600 categorical/advanced positions available to U.S. seniors.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

Emergency medicine residency training programs participate in the NRMP. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for emergency medicine residency training programs are summarized in the U.S. Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics 2013 2012 2011 2010
Competitiveness* Interm Interm Interm Interm
# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors 1744 1668 1626 1575
% U.S. Seniors matched* 93 95 93 94
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions 3 0 2 16
# Unmatched U.S. seniors 90 65 94 68

Source: NRMP *Competitiveness is based on the percentage of U.S. seniors who match in each specialty.

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of an emergency medicine residency training program is available in sports medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, EMS-prehospital, disaster medicine, medical toxicology, emergency ultrasound/imaging, palliative care, and critical care (coming in 2012 and conjoint with ABIM). Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered and length of training is available in the GMED. The American Medical Association and the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access page offer further information.

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.



3-4 years of residency

Categorical and advanced positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Subspecialty Length
Disaster Medicine 1 year
Emergency Ultrasound/Imaging 1 year
EMS-Prehospital 1 year
Medical Toxicology 2 years
Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2 years
Sports Medicine 1 year
Critical Care 2 years


Median, Academic Salary $258,000
Median, Clinical Salary $220,000
Source: AAMC
Create Date: 12-20-2005
Last Modification: 01-27-2014
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis