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.

Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)

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 ABPS 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 ABPS 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.

Eligibility Requirements of the BCEM

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.

Why Physicians Choose BCEM & Other ABPS Member Boards for Certification

Founded in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) has consistently maintained a pragmatic and inclusive approach to board certification. Unlike other certification bodies, the ABPS places emphasis on physicians’ skills and knowledge in their medical fields, without discrimination based on training. Notably, the ABPS awarded its first physician certification in 1960 and has since continued to certify and recertify physicians across a broad spectrum of specialties.

Presently, ABPS Diplomates can be found in every state of the nation, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. These accomplished ABPS Diplomates often hold leadership positions at highly regarded medical institutions.

The Advantages of BCEM Certification for Family Physicians

The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), encourages practice management groups to endorse board certification in emergency medicine for family physicians. With some of the most stringent eligibility criteria in North America, the BCEM presents a unique opportunity for experienced family physicians to attain certification in emergency medicine. BCEM certification offers the following benefits:

  • Provides documented evidence of a physician’s exceptional abilities in the fast-paced, high-stress emergency room environment
  • Demonstrates that certified physicians possess knowledge and skills on par with residency-trained ER specialists
  • Boosts the reputation of hospitals that hire BCEM-certified physicians
  • Broadens opportunities for groups that rely on BCEM-certified physicians
  • Instills emergency room staffers with confidence that they are working alongside talented and dedicated specialists
  • Gives patients assurance that they will be provided with exceptional medical care

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.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine