Resize Text: |

Examination Content

Emergency Medicine

The EM Examination (MCQ) is designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate's knowledge and clinical judgement in the areas in which an emergency medicine physician should demonstrate a high level of competence. Expertise in the broad domain of emergency medicine, and the diagnosis and treatment of both common and rare conditions that have important consequences for patients will be assessed.

The examination content is consistent with a pre-established blueprint developed and used by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. ABMS-S, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Singapore, modified the blueprint to ensure that the content and relative percentages reflect the practice of emergency medicine in Singapore. The blueprint will be reviewed and revised annually to ensure that it is current.

The majority of questions are based on presentations occurring in settings that reflect current medical practice. Questions requiring simple recall of medical facts are in the minority; the majority of questions require integration of information from several sources, prioritisation of alternatives, and/or utilisation of clinical judgement in reaching a correct conclusion. Some questions require interpretation of pictorial material, such as ultrasound scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans, electrocardiograms, radiographs, computed tomograms, and photomicrographs (e.g. blood films, Gram stains).

The content areas covered and their relative proportions on the examination are as follows:

Table 1 : Examination Content for Emergency Medicine MCQ Examination

Medical Content Category

Relative Percentage

Signs, Symptoms, and Presentations


Abdominal and Gastrointestinal Disorders


Cardiovascular Disorders


Cutaneous Disorders


Endocrine, Metabolic, and Nutritional Disorders


Environmental Disorders


Head, Ear, Eye, Nose, and Throat Disorders


Hematologic Disorders


Immune System Disorders


Systemic Infectious Disorders


Musculoskeletal Disorders (Nontraumatic)


Nervous System Disorders


Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Psychobehavioural Disorders


Renal and Urogenital Disorders


Thoracic-Respiratory Disorders


Pharmacology and Toxicologic Disorders


Traumatic Disorders


Procedures and Skills Integral to the Practice of Emergency Medicine


Other Core Competencies of the Practice of Emergency Medicine




Examination content is also classified by acuity.  The ranges below show the approximate percentage of items in each acuity category that would be included on any exam.



Critical: Patient presents with signs orsymptoms of a life-threatening illness or injury with a high probability of mortality if immediate intervention is not begun to prevent further airway, respiratory, hemodynamic, and/or neurologic instability.

28 – 33

Emergent: Patient presents with signs orsymptoms of an illness or injury that may progress in severity or result in complications with a high probability for morbidity if treatment is not begun quickly.

38 – 44

Lower: Patient presents with signs orsymptoms of an illness or injury that have a low probability of rapid progression to more serious disease or development of complications.

17- 22

Other: Items require recall of medical knowledge, such as pharmacology and toxicologic disorders, and procedures and skills integral to the practice of emergency medicine; or require application of other core competencies, such as interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism, and systems-based practice.

5- 10

Back to Top