Certification Requirements

Candidates for the ABEM Initial Examination must meet the following requirements:

  • Board certified through ABPN, ABPMR, AOBN, or AOBPMR (or a Canadian equivalent)
  • Six or more months of EDX training during a residency and/or fellowship program
  • Completed 200 EDX studies during training
  • One or more years of independent experience
  • Completed 200 EDX studies during independent experience

See the information below for further details on each of these requirements.

Candidates must meet eligibility requirements for the year in which the examination is taken, regardless of prior approval. Eligibility does not carry over automatically from year to year.

Certification by Primary Board

A candidate must be a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in neurology, American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or a Canadian equivalent.

Individuals who have completed a medical specialty graduate training program that has not been approved by the ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC are not eligible for certification as an ABEM Diplomate. However, candidates who meet our international eligibility criteria, and who successfully complete the examination, will receive the ABEM Certificate of Recognition.

EDX Training

A period of preceptorship in EDX medicine that is coordinated with presentation of didactic material must be satisfactorily completed under direct supervision of an experienced EDX medicine consultant, preferably an ABEM Board Diplomate. This preceptorship may be taken during and/or after an approved residency training program. The period of preceptorship must be at least 6 months full time, or equivalent*, with the first 3 months rigidly structured with regard to supervision. Any post-residency course of study in EDX medicine must be conducted where there is an ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC recognized neurology or physiatry residency training program, or at a participating institution to a sponsoring institution that has been approved by the ACGME in order to qualify as a portion of the 6-month preceptorship.

During these 6 months, at least 200 complete EDX evaluations must be performed on separate occasions; these studies must be documented and interpreted.  We recognize that some residency programs are structured in such a way that it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to reach the 6 months of training and/or 200 studies.  A combination of residency and fellowship training months and studies performed may be utilized to help reach the requirements, if needed.

Training must have included adequate educational experience in the following areas:

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology of muscle and nerve
  • Neuromuscular physiology
  • Electrodiagnostic medicine, including instrumentation, quantification, and statistical analysis
  • Clinical aspects of neuromuscular diseases as they pertain to clinical electrodiagnosis

The candidates must have been exposed to electrodiagnostic studies, diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of neuromuscular disorders in adults and children.

Independent Experience

Competency in electrodiagnostic medicine can only be achieved by performing and interpreting additional electrodiagnostic examinations. Candidates, therefore, must also document at least 1 year of experience following training during which they must perform 200 additional complete electrodiagnostic evaluations on separate occasions.

This period of independent experience can only begin after satisfactory completion of the approved residency training program and the 6-month preceptorship. The year of independent experience may be part of a post-residency program (e.g., fellowship) which includes the practice of electrodiagnostic medicine. The time spent in such a post-residency program beyond the minimum 6-month preceptorship may be counted toward the 1 year of independent experience.

Applications may be submitted prior to the final projected completion date of the independent experience period. However, all training and experience requirements must be satisfactorily completed before March 1 of the exam year.

*Full-time equivalent
One month of full-time equivalent is defined as 160 hours divided among:

  • Performing or observing clinical neuromuscular evaluations/assessments or electrodiagnostic studies.
  • Reading articles and books pertaining to the basic and clinical sciences of electrodiagnostic medicine.
  • Participating in classes, research seminars, case conferences and journal clubs associated with the basic and clinical sciences of electrodiagnostic medicine.
Please note: ABEM staff are not able to confirm eligibility or presumed eligibility via phone or email prior to an application being submitted. In order to find out if you are eligible, you must apply for the exam so that official processes can be followed for determining eligibility.  $850 of the examination fee will be refunded to those not eligible and those without the necessary documentation and references. 

Board Eligibility 

The ABEM, in accord with the policy of the ABMS, does not recognize or use the term “board eligible” and does not issue statements concerning “board eligibility.” The Board informs an applicant of admissibility to examination only when the applicant has an active, approved application on file in the ABEM Executive Office.


The ABEM will follow the guidance of the ABMS and will rely upon the authority and judgement of training program directors (PDs) to determine readiness for unsupervised practice and to inform board decisions regarding eligibility for certification. Their authority and judgement are especially important during times of crises when traditional time- and volume-based educational standards may be challenged.