Nevertheless, it is easy to get stuck in the microcosm of the doctor-patient relationship and forget that there is a breadth of bureaucracy that allows us to do the job we love doing.

There are many organizations fighting for our ability to practice emergency medicine with reliable evidence, a necessary scope of practice, in safe conditions, and with fair reimbursement. While there are many of these organizations, here are some that you should be familiar with:


    • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
      • Founded in 1968, the ACEP is the largest representative group with over 34,000 members. It is also the most diverse with 27 different committees working to advance the world of emergency medicine.
    • American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)
      • Founded in 1993, the AAEM was established to promote fair and equitable practice environments for the emergency physician. While they too have a wide array of committees working to improve emergency care, AAEM claims that its primary concern is the individual emergency medicine specialist.
    • Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM)
      • Founded in 1989, the SAEM was born out of the union of the University Association for Emergency Medicine (UAEM) and the Society of Teachers of Emergency Medicine (STEM). While all organizations on this list contribute to education and research, SAEM has made the advancement of academic emergency medicine their primary mission.
    • American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)
      • Founded in 1975 at a kitchen table in Toledo, OH, the ACOEP was formed to establish the specialty of emergency medicine within the osteopathic profession. Involved in emergency medicine education, research, and advocacy, the mission of the ACOEP is to promote patient centric holistic emergency care consistent with the osteopathic philosophy and principles.
    •  Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD)
      • Founded in 1989, CORD is dedicated to the advancement of emergency medicine educators and training programs.


  • Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA)
    • Founded in 1974, EMRA is the largest independent resident organization with over 16,000 members. Their mission is to be the voice of emergency medicine physicians-in-training.
  • AAEM Resident and Student Association (RSA)
    • Founded as an independent organization in 2005, formerly a section of AAEM, the RSA’s mission is to educate, inspire, and inform emergency medicine trainees.
  • ACOEP Resident-Student Organization (RSO)
    • Although the student chapter of the ACOEP was founded in 1988, the amalgamation of the resident and student chapters to form the RSO began in 2016. Our mission is to support the continuing education, osteopathic philosophy, and career development of emergency medicine residents and students.


  • American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM)
    • ABEM was founded in 1976 creating a path for board certification in emergency medicine. This is the primary allopathic certifying board for emergency medicine.
  • American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM)
    • AOBEM was founded in 1980 after the creation of osteopathic emergency medicine residency programs. This is the osteopathic certifying board for emergency medicine.


  • Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF)
    • Founded in 1972 by leaders in ACEP, EMF is a foundation dedicated to further emergency medicine research and education. They have awarded over $15 million in research grants and award more than $500,000 per year.
  • Foundation of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine (FOEM)
    • Founded in 1998 by the ACOEP, FOEM was created to promote research and education to advance the science of patient-centric holistic emergency care consistent with osteopathic philosophy. They fund the research competitions at the ACOEP Scientific Assembly and Spring Seminar as well as award many research grants.


  • Emergency Medicine Action Fund (EMAF)
    • An organization dedicated to regulatory advocacy in healthcare reform law primarily by providing stakeholder interest in the development of regulations by federal agencies. The board of governors includes representatives from the top contributing emergency medicine organizations including the ACOEP.
  • National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC)
    • Formed by ACEP, NEMPAC was the 5th largest PAC amongst health professional PACs during the 2016 election cycle contributing over $1.1 million to federal candidates.1 The organization financially contributes to candidates who support the interests of emergency medicine.

As a resident or student just trying to find time to study between shifts, it is difficult to fathom having any significant involvement in organized medicine. The reality is that these organizations are advocating for the future of emergency medicine and have a tremendous say in what your future will be like as an emergency physician. There are countless opportunities to get involved as a resident or student, so check out the websites below for more information on these organizations!



  1.  Health Professionals. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed: 11.16.17.