Approved Emergency Medicine Fellowship Programs Enable Primary Care Trained Physicians to Become Certified in the Specialty

aaep-recognized-logoPrimary care physicians typically have a diverse skill set and a strong clinical background. They tend to see a high volume of patients as part of their residency, which means they are trained in diagnosing and treating patients of different ages who collectively have a variety of conditions. These clinical experiences help to explain why thousands of primary care physicians have become leaders in emergency departments across the country.

For many years, board certification has been one of the best ways for primary care physicians to earn recognition for their emergency medicine skills. But certification in emergency medicine has long required residency training in the field, a reality that deprives many exceptionally qualified primary care doctors of due recognition. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case because the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine® (BCEM) offers physicians like these a certification pathway through approved emergency medicine fellowships.

Recognition for Fellowship Programs

The American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP) recognizes teaching hospitals and medical schools that offer distinguished emergency medicine fellowships for primary care physicians. Completion of an AAEP-approved fellowship enables graduate fellows to apply for certification with the BCEM.

When physicians achieve BCEM certification, they become recognized as qualified emergency medicine physicians, positioning themselves as leaders in the healthcare community and expanding their career opportunities.

Hospitals and schools that offer emergency medicine fellowships can receive recognition through the AAEP’s Emergency Medicine Fellowship Recognition Program. The AAEP recognizes only specific fellowships that have established a level of training that allows physicians to demonstrate mastery in emergency medical care. These programs:

  • Have shown proof that participating physicians work under the supervision of faculty members who are experienced in all aspects of emergency medicine
  • Are conducive to medical education in a scholarly environment
  • Are located throughout the United States

You can find a list of approved emergency medicine fellowships here.

Why Emergency Medicine Fellows Should Apply to the BCEM

Earning BCEM certification is a significant achievement as it highlights a physician’s expertise and depth of knowledge. BCEM-certified physicians have demonstrated mastery of essential competencies through rigorous testing and performance evaluation, making them highly sought after by medical leaders. Having a BCEM-certified physician on staff delivers a strong message about a facility’s credentials, helping to foster trust within the community. By pursuing BCEM certification, graduate fellows display a dedication to patient care beyond fellowship programs and position themselves as top candidates for employment in emergency departments nationwide.


For Fellowship Program Directors: Learn More About AAEP Recognition

If you would like more information about the AAEP’s Emergency Medicine Fellowship Recognition Program, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). We are the nationally recognized multi-specialty certifying board that developed the BCEM. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with more details.

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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
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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.

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Internal Medicine