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ABPS Recognizes Qualified Family Physicians in EM

ABPS Recognizes Qualified Family Physicians in EMFamily physicians play a vital role in emergency departments across the country. During our current shortage of qualified emergency medicine physicians, family doctors have stepped in to fill the gap. As generalists whose patients run the gamut from infants to the elderly, they are relied on in the emergency room for their depth of knowledge and versatility. But, despite the fact that these professionals have shown themselves to be highly proficient, displaying the expertise and calm demeanor required for delivering excellent emergency care, they have often been viewed as subpar alternatives to emergency residency-trained physicians.

This is unfortunate as many family physicians have established long, productive careers in emergency departments and are no less committed to the specialty than emergency medicine physicians. The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) takes the position that qualified family doctors deserve recognition for their continued contribution in strengthening the nation’s emergency care safety net. That is why the ABPS offers experienced family practitioners the chance to become board certified in emergency medicine.

Certification in emergency medicine by the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), a Member Board of the ABPS, serves as a verifiable record of a doctor’s knowledge and expertise. Family physicians who earn BCEM certification have displayed, through performance and rigorous testing, mastery of the core competencies necessary to provide the world-class emergency care. Additionally, BCEM certification indicates that these professionals are committed to adhering to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) shares the belief held by the APBS that family physicians should be recognized for providing top-notch medical care to a diverse population regardless of the setting. During this shortage of emergency medicine doctors, it is essential that organizations like the AAFP and the APBS continue to encourage hospitals and credentialers to focus on the high quality of emergency care delivered by family physicians instead of on whether they are emergency residency-trained.

The ABPS is committed to providing pathways for physicians to receive certification in the specialties in which they work. But, certification with any of our Member Boards is competitive. Family medicine physicians who are seeking certification with the BCEM must satisfy eligibility requirements that include at least five years of full-time practice in emergency medicine and at least 7,000 hours practicing the specialty.

Physicians who satisfy these and other requirements can then go on to earn BCEM certification to demonstrate to current and prospective employers that their multifaceted skills are on par with residency-trained ER doctors. Once certified in emergency medicine, family physicians become well-positioned to move the specialty forward.

If you want more information about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements, or the benefits of certification for family doctors working as emergency medicine physicians, contact the ABPS today.