Diploma in SEM
Sport and Exercise Medicine Diploma Exam
Date: Fall 2021
Location: Ottawa, ON
New applications are not being accepted at this time. Members will be notified when they re-open. *
(with the exception of Canadian SEM PGY3 Residents.)
Please submit the exam application form complete with the signature of the applicant, the application fee and a passport-style photograph of the applicant as well as all the required documents requested in the application form and eligibility requirements. At the time of the exam application CASEM will charge a $200.00 exam non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee will be deducted from the exam fee once your application has been accepted and the balance of the exam fee at the exam priority application deadline.
The exam application fee is $1750.00 CDN. Examination candidates will be accepted on a “first come first served” basis. Every second exam, accommodations will be made for candidates to write the exam in French provided that a minimum number of francophone candidates are reached (12). The exam will be offered in French, regardless of number of candidates, at least every 4 exams. Priority is given, at the time of the application deadline, to fellows registered in Sport Medicine fellowship programs (provided they have completed their program at the time of the date of examination otherwise applications will be received on a first-come first-served basis) and those who have failed the previous year. The applicants accepted for examination will be notified by the CASEM Executive Director, and will be provided with information about the centre where he/she will take the examination.
Please note, in the event that an applicant qualifies to sit the examination but is unable, for whatever reason, to sit the exam, the refund policy will apply. Future applications to sit the examination can be made upon payment of the appropriate application fee.
How do I prepare for this examination?
Since the examination is a practical examination, and testing focuses on the more common, more important skills and competencies necessary for the practice of sports and exercise medicine, there should be no need to go out and learn a whole new set of skills.
What type of coverage counts towards the 50 hours required?
In order to sit the exam, each candidate must have 50 hours of event coverage gained within the 2 years prior to challenging the exam. These hours may include the following type of events:
*You must have hours from at least 3 of the 5 categories below:
- Local, Community. Municipal or Provincial Team/Games (ie: Team Doc for local soccer club)
- Provincial/University/National team/Games (ie: Team Physician for University Team, etc…)
- Multi-Sport Games or tournaments
- Team Travel
- Pre-Participation Physicals
Hours that do NOT count:
- Clinic hours
What will I receive as a result of passing this examination?
The Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine will issue a diploma indicating that you have achieved a satisfactory level of expertise in the area of sport and exercise medicine. Possession of this diploma may be important for the accreditation of sport medicine clinics, and as a criterion for assignment to national teams, multi-sport games, etc. most importantly, the diploma will signal to colleagues and the public that you have interest and demonstrated expertise in sport and exercise medicine. The privilege of using the nominal DIP. SPORT MED. is related to on-going active membership with the Academy.
Who is eligible to sit the exam?
Candidates for the CASEM Diploma Examination in Sport and Exercise Medicine must be meeting the following criteria:
Eligibility Criteria to Sit the CASEM Exam
- All candidates must be members in good standing of (the) CASEM at the time they apply to sit the examination.
- All candidates must have a current license to practice medicine. Physicians practicing outside Canada must be licensed to practice in their country of residence.
- The candidate must also have one of the following:
- A minimum of 2 years of independent MEDICAL practice, which must include attendance at 1 provincial, or national sport medicine conference and documented participation of 50 hours of team/sport/event coverage (Conference and event hours must be current within the 2 years leading up to the exam.)
- The candidate must be a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons or College of Family Physicians of Canada and have completed a one-year Sport Medicine fellowship recognized by a Canadian University Faculty of Medicine Program. The program must include documented participation of 50 hours of team/sport/event coverage.*
(* For candidates taking a one year Sport Medicine Fellowship and who take the exam before the full completion of that year, the Diploma will be sent upon successful completion of the fellowship year.)
The Sport Medicine Fellowship is recognized by the following criteria:
- A letter signed by a University affiliated CASEM Dip Sport Medicine physician which states that the candidate was under their supervision and is expected to meet the core competencies in the sport and exercise medicine (as outlined by the CASEM Fellowship Committee)
- The fellowship must be one uninterrupted year
How long is the examination?
The examination will typically take 6 to 7 hours to complete. The exam will start approximately at 8am and finish around 2pm.
What will the examination look like? How will it be organized?
Each candidate will be asked to rotate through 18-20 OSCE stations. At each station, the candidate will be asked to carry out a specific task or series of tasks e.g. take a history and examine a patient with a specific problem, council an athlete, carry out an examination appropriate to the clinical situation, etc. All candidates will be tested on the same or very similar clinical material using pre-set standards as the basis for an objective evaluation of performance.
Is this examination just for family physicians?
Very definitely NOT! It is understood that physicians from a variety of disciplines practice sport medicine and have developed skills and sensitivities unique to sport medicine and their own area of practice. It is appreciated that sport medicine practitioners may not be equally adept in every area of sport medicine and the examination and marking scheme is designed to assess knowledge, skills and attitudes in a wide scope sport medicine settings and situations. The successful candidates will have demonstrated the breadth of knowledge and skills required to care for a team of group of athletes at multi-sport games, as well as practice sport medicine in their own discipline.
How often is the examination administered?
The CASEM Credentials Committee endeavors to conduct an examination each year. However, the examination requires a certain amount of candidates (typically 40 candidates) to make the process financially feasible. If there are an inadequate number of candidates as determined by the Chair of the Credentials Committee, then it may be necessary to delay the examination until there are a sufficient number of candidates. At this point no more than one examination will be conducted during one year.
What if I want to do the examination in French?
Every second year, accommodations will be made for candidates to write the exam in French. Francophone candidates will be given priority that year, if a minimum number (12 candidates or more) of francophone candidates qualify to sit the examination. The examination will be offered in French at least every forth exam. The last French exam took place in 2019.
Who sets the examination?
The examination consists of a variety of stations drawn from a bank of such stations prepared by the CASEM Credentials Committee. The CASEM committee is composed of physicians with a variety of skills and backgrounds applicable to the practice of sport medicine. The examination is carefully reviewed to ensure that the stations are realistic, relevant and reflective of the scope of sport medicine.
What standard of expertise are candidates expected to demonstrate in the examination setting?
When addressing the questions at each station, candidates should behave as though they were consulted as primary care sport medicine physicians. The exam is predominantly conducted using OSCE situations but other forms of examination can be used as well i.e. multiple choice or short answer questions. These are designed to simulate, accurately as possible, situations that are likely to arise in the context of the practice of clinical sport medicine. They are designed to evaluate and assess not only knowledge, but also clinical skills and behavior. Applicants who have been involved in the clinical practice of sport medicine, are familiar with the current literature, have participated in ongoing CME activities in the sport medicine area, and who are aware of contemporary issues in sport and exercise medicine are ideal candidates for the examination.
When will payment be processed?
When the candidate applies for the exam CASEM a $250 non-reimbursable exam administration fee will be applied. The balance of the exam fee will be charged when the Executive Director of CASEM can confirm that there is a position available to sit the examination after the examination deadline has passed. The candidate will receive the confirmation letter by e-mail. The e-mail contains the receipt for the exam fee and further instructions for the examination.
How do I register for the Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine?
All medical physicians who are interested in sitting the examination must submit a completed application form by mail, e-mail or fax. Applications are accepted throughout the year on a first come – first serve basis. Applications will not be considered unless the candidate is a member in good standing with the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine, the applications is filled in complete and a method of payment is provided.
Candidates who are unsuccessful in passing the examination are encouraged to repeat the examination in a subsequent year. Such candidates need not resubmit an application form but must submit a letter of intent to sit the examination no later than the specified application deadline for that year. The application fee should be sent with the letter of intent. Candidates who failed the exam have priority to sit the two next exams.
As a succesful candidate how do I use the DIP. SPORT MED. nominal?
All members who have successfully completed the examination of the Diploma of Sport and Exercise Medicine may use the Dip. Sport Med. as a nominal. The continued use of this designation requires ongoing membership adherence to the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine.
Who do I contact if I need more information?
CANDIDATES FOR THE CASEM DIPLOMA EXAMINATION IN SPORT MEDICINE MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
The CASEM Core Competency document is now obsolete given that both colleges (CFPC and RCPSC) have developed their own competencies in SEM.
A Family Physician resident can apply for a third training year (PGY3) in Sport & Exercise Medicine to complete their Certificate of Added Competence (CAC) SEM.
The Royal College has established national standards for evaluating and accrediting Canadian Area of Focused Competence (AFC) programs. AFC diploma programs are post-residency competency-based programs that provide additional training. They build upon a broader discipline in order to enhance scope of practice.
Residents can apply to undertake an AFC in Sport & Exercise Medicine either as part of their residency program or after they have completed their specialty residency.
Both of these curricula will provide those practice eligible candidates, who wish to sit the Diploma in Sport Medicine, with a comprehensive and detailed program of study.
All who are interested in sitting the Exam should submit an application form with the appropriate fee by the announced deadline. Please note that applications are accepted throughout the year, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Credentials Committee reviews applications periodically throughout the year, as required. Applications will not be considered complete unless the candidate is a member in good standing of the Academy.
Successful candidates may use Dip. Sport Med. as a nominal.
NOTE: The use of this designation is contingent upon ongoing membership in the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine.
The Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine is considered a privilege granted by the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine to its members. Active membership in the Academy is a necessary prerequisite to sitting the exam and an absolute requirement to maintaining the designation as a Diplomat in Sport and Exercise Medicine.
Candidates unsuccessful in passing the examination in previous years are encouraged to repeat the examination in a subsequent year. Such candidates need not submit an application form but must submit a letter of intent to sit the examination no later than the specified application deadline date for that year. The application fee has to accompany this letter.
Information and Exam Appeal Process
The examination is predominantly conducted using OSCE situations but other forms of examination can be used as well, i.e. multiple choice or short answer questions. These are designed to simulate, accurately as possible, situations that are likely to arise in the context of the practice of clinical sport medicine. They are designed to evaluate and assess not only knowledge, but also clinical skills and behavior.
Applicants who have been involved in the clinical practice of sport medicine, are familiar with the current literature, have participated in ongoing CME activities in this area, and who are aware of contemporary issues in sport medicine are ideal candidates for the examination.
EXAMINATION APPEAL PROCESS
Procedure for the Formal Review of the CASEM Diploma Examination Process
Formal reviews of the examination are performed as part of the overall evaluation and quality control process. They provide a means to investigate the circumstances of the examination administered to one or several candidates to ascertain whether the exam was carried out according to the instructions from the CASEM Credentials Committee.
Grounds for Appeal
Candidates should only request an appeal if they believe a process error had occurred during the exam that resulted in them receiving a failing grade; appeals made on the basis of examination content will not be successful. This is a fundamental distinction. Process is the conduct of examiners, conduct of standardized patients, or environmental circumstances under the direct jurisdiction of the Credentials Committee ONLY. It does not include candidate fatigue, lack of preparation, grief, illness, field of practice, etc. Process irregularities may include – power outages, examiner absence, etc. The Credentials Committee members are appointed based upon their position as the “authority on content”. As such their judgment relative to the correctness of a candidate’s answers is not open to challenge. Otherwise the review would become a content-oriented discussion between experts. To do so would be to “second guess” the examiners and most likely weaken the examination process. Further, process irregularities are considered relevant only when they are serious enough to materially affect the candidate’s performance.
On occasion deviations from the stated format of conduct of the examination may be unavoidable and irregularities may occur which do not result in any unfairness or significantly affect the performance of the candidate.
In the case that a candidate feels that he/she has been treated unfairly during the examination he/she may appeal the process. As indicated above, a successful appeal must be based on a process error.
In the case of an appeal the following procedure must be adhered to:
An appeal fee of $300.00 must be sent to the CASEM office along with a cover letter and a completed “Formal Appeal Form” (available on request) outlining the specific concern regarding the appeal. This must be received within 30 days after the Credentials Committee transmits the official results to the candidate. The candidates’ name will only be known to the CASEM National Office, the Committee Chairman and Chief Examiner. In as much as possible, the review process will be anonymous.
The candidate will be informed the request has been received within 30 days. The request must explain completely, and in detail, all of the circumstances surrounding the alleged irregularity. The Committee will perform a formal review of the candidate’s concern. The decision will be made on the basis of a majority vote.
The Decisions of the Credentials Committee
The decision regarding an official appeal of the examination by a candidate will be one of the following:
1. No process irregularity has occurred (appeal fee is forfeited)
2. There was a process irregularity but NOT of sufficient magnitude that it could materially affect the candidate’s performance or results (appeal fee is forfeited)
3. There was a process irregularity of sufficient magnitude to affect materially the candidate’s performance or results. In this case, the appeal fee is refunded to the candidate and the
committee chooses between one of the following two options:
• A repeat examination is allowed at the next examination session of the CASEM with no cost to the candidate
• The candidate is given a passing grade based upon the appeal
The Credentials Committee Decision, and reasons for the decision, will be transmitted to the CASEM Board of Directors. As a group of sport medicine experts who have no relation to the examination itself, the CASEM Board of Directors has the final decision on the result.
N.B. The CASEM Credentials Committee is a standing committee of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, made up of volunteers who generate, administer and review the CASEM OSCE Diploma Examination. This process is done in good faith. The Diploma Examination is not considered a high stakes examination that allows or prevents a candidate from practicing medicine. The committee understands that the possession of the Diploma in Sport Medicine is considered to be an important distinguishing document. In some provinces and jurisdictions it is used as a way of determining additional expertise in the area of Sport Medicine.
The CASEM is a non-profit charitable organization. The Credentials Committee, on behalf of the CASEM is in no position to enter into any appeal process with a candidate, where legal council is required. In addition, the appeal process is not bound by the rules of law concerning evidence applicable to judicial proceedings.
The Diploma in Sport Medicine is considered a privilege granted by the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine to its members. Active membership in the Academy is a necessary prerequisite to sitting the exam and an absolute requirement to maintaining the designation as a Diplomat in Sport Medicine.