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More Rural Physicians are Spending Time on Emergency & Urgent Care

Rural PhysiciansA recent report by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that approximately one out of every 15 family physicians spends as much as 80 percent of their time in emergency or urgent care, and this figure is even higher in rural areas. Yet, in many ways, these findings aren’t altogether surprising. Physicians who practice in more isolated areas, such as rural communities, tend to provide a wider range of healthcare services, with specialization less common than in urban environments. As many as one half to two thirds of all physicians in rural areas are family physicians.

At the American Board of Physician Specialties, through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), we are pleased to offer family physicians with substantial experience working in emergency departments the opportunity to pursue board certification in emergency medicine, even if they completed their ACCGME or AOA residencies in another primary care discipline. We recognize that rural physicians are often called upon to dedicate their careers to emergency and urgent care to address the needs of their communities, and we believe these specialists with substantial experience deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of this essential specialty. By becoming board certified by the ABPS, these family practice physicians who practice in our rural emergency departments will also have more opportunities to connect with fellow Diplomates, pursue CME, and provide even better care to their diverse patient base.

There is a distinct shortage of board certified emergency medicine physicians in the United States, and this shortage is particularly significant in areas outside of urban centers. As a result, family physicians tend to fill the workplace gap, and these men and women deserve the opportunity to be recognized with board certification. Furthermore, board certification legitimizes the physician’s experience and expertise in emergency medicine, makes them more marketable to potential future employers, and can provide significant insurance incentives for staffing EM physicians.

For more information about the certification process, the benefits to pursuing board certification in emergency medicine, and our various eligibility requirements, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.