What is the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)?
The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) provides board certification and re-certification for qualified emergency department physicians. This can include physicians who might be certified in family medicine or primary care, but have spent many years working in a local hospital emergency department. Board certification through the BCEM is a demonstration that a physician has mastered the core competencies required to provide the best care possible in an emergency department setting.
The BCEM standards for eligibility are among the most stringent in North America, in keeping with the standards set forth by the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS®). Our clinically based Emergency Medicine board certification exams also provide career emergency physicians a meaningful chance to demonstrate the depth of the skill and knowledge they have attained over the years.
The ABPS believes that career emergency physicians with substantial experience, and either an appropriate residency or completion of an approved post-graduate fellowship program, should receive the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise through BCEM certification. More than 30 percent of the emergency department workforce in the United States falls into this category, and many of them merit recognition for their knowledge and experience. We also believe that physicians should have a choice of which emergency room board certification best reflects their commitment to caring for their patients’ needs.
In addition to conforming to the ABPS code of medical ethics, physicians who wish to pursue certification through the BCEM are required to:
- Practice emergency medicine for at least five years on a full-time basis
- Accumulate a minimum of 7,000 hours in the practice of emergency medicine
- Complete a residency in one of the following primary care specialties – family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery
These are only a few examples of eligibility requirements, which demonstrate the depth of knowledge and experience the BCEM requires prior to consideration. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and exam structure of the BCEM, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.