Font Size:

The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) Accepts Applications from Family Medicine-Trained Physicians with EM Experience

Board of Certification in Emergency MedicineDr. Alex Beuning of the Mayo Clinic has family medicine in his blood. According to Dr. Beuning, his grandfather “was an old fashioned doctor who did it all, from delivering babies to removing a colon tumor or infected gallbladder.” With the goal of serving a small community just like his grandfather, Dr. Beuning chose family medicine for residency training after graduating from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Following residency, he accepted a full-spectrum family medicine position in Bloomer, Wisconsin – a rural city with a population of just a few thousand people. Seemingly, Dr. Beuning was on the exact career path he had originally chosen, that of being a family medicine practitioner in a rural setting.

That all changed when his rural hospital in Bloomer merged with Luther Midelfort and, subsequently, the Mayo Clinic. The greater availability of specialists to residents of Bloomer that these consolidations created was undoubtedly a welcome development. However, as Dr. Beuning explains, “emergency care for Bloomer residents could not as easily be outsourced to emergency medicine specialists.” Staffing limitations, combined with other factors such as locum tenens physicians of varying competence, negatively impacted Bloomer residents in need of high-quality emergency care. This led Dr. Beuning to embark on a slightly different career trajectory. In his view, becoming a practitioner of emergency medicine is a natural transition for any doctor with extensive training and experience in the field of family medicine. This is especially true for family doctors in rural environments, where a scarcity of emergency medicine specialists often compels family doctors and other generalists to step in and provide emergency care services. After seeking additional training, Dr. Beuning became a regional emergency department medical director, an advanced airway course director, a rural critical care course instructor, a state trauma surveyor, and the medical director of the Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

Unfortunately for Dr. Beuning, the American Board of Medical Specialists would not allow him to become board certified in emergency medicine. That is when he turned to the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) and its Member Board, the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM). While adhering to stringent ABPS standards, the BCEM offers a meaningful way for qualified physicians to demonstrate their proficiency at providing emergency care to patients. Those who wish to obtain board certification through the BCEM must have completed residency training in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery. In addition, primary care-trained physicians must have practiced emergency medicine for a minimum of 7,000 hours during a five-year period, or have completed a BCEM-approved emergency medicine graduate training program. Complete eligibility requirements can be found at www.bcemus.org.

Doctors like Alex Beuning who transitioned into emergency medicine after beginning their careers in a different specialty benefit greatly by becoming board certified through the BCEM. Along with being able to demonstrate their mastery of the specialty, BCEM-certified physicians enjoy better job opportunities, higher compensation, and greater familiarity with ever-changing emergency medicine standards. Their patients benefit as well through enhanced clinical outcomes and knowing from the outset that their physicians have completed rigorous testing in the specialty they practice.

Contact the American Board of Physician Specialists today to learn more about the many benefits of becoming board certified through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine. The ABPS is the certifying body for the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.