Social EM Fellowship

Application Fees

  • Application fee is $400 at the time of submission.
  • Annual fee of $150 for years 1 and 2.
  • Annual fee of $200 for year 3 and beyond.
  • Please make check payable to "SAEM" and reference "Administrative Fellowship Application."
  • Checks can be mailed to: SAEM, 1111 East Touhy Ave, Suite 540, Des Plaines, IL 60018 or faxed using the credit card form [pdf] to (847) 813-5450.

New Application Deadline: September 30, 2022 (then March 31st annually afterwards)

Renewal Application Deadline: September 30th annually

  • Renewal applications are due the 3rd year after initial application is approved.
  • Subsequent renewals are due every 5 years.

How to Submit

All applications and evaluations must be submitted through the online portal by 5pm Central Time on the deadline. If the deadline falls on a holiday or weekend, applications will be accepted on the next business day. 


You can download a copy of the application form questions.

Please note, you must submit applications through the online portal. Emailed copies of an application will not be accepted. 

Annual Reports

(Non-research fellowships only)

Annual Fellowship Evaluations are required of approved programs on March 31st each year. The annual evaluation will ask you to list graduating fellows. Please make sure to complete this form in order for your fellows to receive their certificate.


Institution Application

Social Emergency Medicine (Social EM) recognizes the unique position of the emergency department in the community and within the health care system. Emergency Departments are the safety net for the healthcare system and are a safe haven for the community. Social Emergency Medicine and Population Health uses the perspective of the ED to investigate societal patterns of health inequity, identify social needs contributing to disease, and develop solutions to decrease health disparities for vulnerable populations.

Social EM was formally recognized as a subspecialty of Emergency Medicine in 2017 by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Social EM is an umbrella title for fellowships addressing social determinants of health by focusing on health policy, rural medicine, tribal medicine, street medicine, population health, and health equity as they influence emergency department visits. There are 11 established fellowships under the Social EM umbrella. Recent organization of this work under the name Social EM has led to thriving sections and interest groups contributing to the academic missions of national medical organizations like the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), the American College of Emergency Medicine (ACEP), and the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association (EMRA).

Criteria for Approval

Description of General Program

The role of the emergency department (ED) has evolved from just providing care for the acutely ill to functioning as the safety net of our healthcare system. While social medicine, the concept of social context influencing illness and injury is not new, the Emergency Department is where Social Medicine finds a clinical home. Social EM is now sufficiently established and widespread that peer-review of Social EM fellowships is the next step for advancement of the subspecialty. Peer review and SAEM approval will ensure that all fellowships under the umbrella will have access to curricula, research, and resources. Endorsement will help develop best practices for addressing social care issues in the emergency department, help residency and medical school leadership to standardize curricula in Social EM, and provide EM Chairs and hospital administrators with evidence for the adoption of social care policies.

Essential Elements for an SAEM-Approved Fellowship

A Social Emergency Medicine fellowship should prepare a participant to become a leader in improving population health and policy through community outreach, research, health policy, collaboration with and linkages between community services and health care specialties, clinical services and education. Graduates should receive substantive training in four key areas related to social EM: administrative, educational, research and policy/advocacy, and graduate with necessary skills to facilitate career advancement in Social EM, both clinically, and in at least one of the four key areas:

1. Administrative- the development of fundamental skills that will allow fellows to evolve as leaders in screening for population health needs and in using the unique position of the emergency department to disseminate public health interventions for the community. This may include expertise in creating systematic interventions like social needs screening programs, linkages to health and social care, collaborating amongst community and healthcare institutions, and other appropriate topics to improve population health.

2. Education – the development of fundamental medical education experiences to allow fellows to evolve as leading educators in Social EM. This may include establishing expertise in key areas of Social EM content— as outlined below—with educational materials developed by fellows that can be used to advance Social EM knowledge at all levels.

3. Research – the development of fundamental skills in clinical, and translational research to allow fellows to evolve as leading researchers in Social EM. This can include focused research training, training in design and conduct of clinical trials, training in writing and reviewing scientific manuscripts, and training in grant writing. Fellows should, at a minimum, submit for publication one investigative research project during their time as a fellow.

4. Policy/Advocacy – the development of fundamental skills in advocating for and critiquing policies that affect marginalized and vulnerable populations frequenting the emergency department. This can include involvement of advocacy work through ACEP or SAEM, local, state or national public health departments and legislatures, editorial writing, and social media campaigns.

Clinical: Home Institution

Fellows, in the capacity of attending physicians, should provide direct care to patients and /or supervise trainees providing care to patients in one or more of the home institution’s hospital Emergency Departments (ED). Fellows, while in this capacity, should be mentored—by the Program Director and Department Chair/Division Chief among other key faculty—as junior attendings and/or junior faculty members in a Department/Division of Emergency Medicine. Fellows, serving as junior attendings/faculty, should meet all predetermined clinical, educational, and research requirements as outlined by the Program Director and Department Chair/Division Chief.

Clinical: Native, Rural or Underserved Health (Suggested but NOT required)

Clinical experiences abroad should include care of acutely ill and injured children and adults in at least one resource, and/or EM specialty, constrained setting. The clinical experience should be as broad as possible—capitalizing on the opportunities provided by the hosting local health care system. These opportunities should include Emergency Department (or its local equivalent)-based care of patients and pre-hospital care of patients—with an emphasis on attaining the necessary knowledge and skills to adeptly care for patients in remote or austere settings in a resource-appropriate manner. Again, fellows should meet all predetermined clinical, educational, and research requirements as outlined by the Program Director, Department Chair/Division Chief, and local site mentor/director.

Specific Requirements

All fellows must have completed an M.D. or D.O. ACGME-accredited residency program in Emergency Medicine.

Participating Social EM and Population Health fellowship programs must demonstrate how they will prepare graduates as scholars, educators, and advocates, and to this end, programs may choose a curriculum providing broad training in all areas of scholarship (e.g., advocacy, education, and research). By contrast, participating Social EM and Population Health fellowship programs may develop separate areas of concentration that focus on one or more areas of scholarship while still including a degree of exposure and training in all three areas.

Fellowship programs may be one or more years in length. An advanced degree should be a part of the curriculum if the program is two or more years. Programs offering a masters-level degree should assure the coursework is applicable to a related doctorate degree (in the case participating fellows choose to pursue the related doctorate).

SAEM-endorsed Social EM programs must have a dedicated Program Director. Program Directors must possess the necessary credentials and experience to fulfill their duties as outlined in a written departmental position description. Program Directors must also be afforded, by the Department Chair/Division Chief, sufficient clinical release-time to fulfill their duties to the Social EM and Population Health fellowship program.

All fellows enrolled in an SAEM-approved Social EM fellowship must hold an active SAEM membership. Programs not meeting this requirement are subject to losing their SAEM endorsement.

In order to meet the standards for SAEM endorsement, the following curricular elements should be addressed. All graduates of an SAEM-approved Social EM fellowship program must demonstrate clinical competence, scholarly productivity, as well as participation and competence in several of the elements of at least one of the four areas of concentration listed below:

1. Administrative:


  • Development or evaluation of social determinants of health screening, protocols to address social needs, and initiatives to address social determinants at home or away institution or
  • Completion of one or more Social EM-related interventions or process improvements


  • Knowledge of successful opt-out programs for screening in the emergency department or linkages to care from the emergency department, including but not limited to cost-effectiveness analysis, operations, protocols, and strategy;
  • Participation and leadership in local, national and/or international organizations with focus on Social EM programs;
  • Participation in the American College of Emergency Physician (ACEP) Leadership and Advocacy Conference;

2. Education


  • Development of novel, resource-appropriate Social EM curricula for students, residents, attendings or other healthcare workers—employing case-based learning, formal didactic lectures, simulation, small group learning, and other modalities.


  • Formal education focused training via one or more of the following methods:
    • Successful completion of a Master of Education (M.Ed) or other education degree/diploma/certificate
    • Successful completion of coursework in assessment, career and professional development, curriculum design, didactic and clinical teaching, educational program administration, education research methods, feedback, teaching skills, theories of learning, etc.
  • Delivery of Social EM core content educational topics as listed below:
    • Policy/Political Determinants of Care/Activist Physician
    • Social Determinants of Health
    • Housing
    • Nutrition and Alcohol
    • Addiction/Opiate Use Disorder
    • Inequitable/Structural Influences on Populations
    • Undocumented Immigrants
    • Immigrants
    • Gender
    • Prisoner release
    • Indigenous peoples
    • Global
    • Poverty
    • Residential Segregation
    • Race/Religion
    • Violence
      • Gender-based
      • Interpersonal
      • Non-traumatic
      • Gun
    • Human Trafficking
    • Environmental Health
    • Mental Health
    • Mistrust of the Medical System

Through the use of the following:

  • Assigned readings;
  • Directed seminar series or courses;
  • Electronic resources;
  • Formal didactic lectures;
  • Journal clubs;
  • FOAM Ed or Podcasting
  • Skills workshops; and
  • Others
  • Participation in the American College of Emergency Physician (ACEP) Teaching Fellowship;
  • Mentorship of learners and colleagues in Social Emergency Medicine;

3. Research


  • Completion of one or more resource-appropriate Social EM investigative research projects with one or more vulnerable populations.
  • One or more scholarly projects culminating in submission for externally- and peer-reviewed, publicly disseminated work(s) (e.g., abstract presentation at a national or international conference, manuscript publication in a peer-reviewed journal, MedEdPORTAL®,etc.).
  • Submission of one or more Social EM -related research protocols to an Institutional Review Board (IRB)


  • Successful completion of a Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science (MSc), or other research degree/diploma/certificate;
  • Successful completion of coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, project evaluation/management/monitoring, research methodology, site assessment, systematic review, etc.;
  • Training in grant writing;
  • Critical appraisal of the medical literature;

4. Advocacy/Policy


  • Writing and submitting one persuasive writing piece as consideration for policy making or editorial publishing
  • Completion of one or more public health campaigns through, ACEP, SAEM, or social media


  • Participation and leadership in local, national and/or international organizations with focus on advocacy in Social EM and Population Health
  • Participation in the American College of Emergency Physician (ACEP) Leadership and Advocacy Conference
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