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The Benefits of Transitioning from Emergency Medicine to an Urgent Care Environment

Urgent Care Board CertificationThe growth in the number of the urgent care centers in the United States is amply documented. Frustrated with crowded emergency departments and the difficulty of getting appointments with primary care physicians on short notice, more and more people are turning to urgent care clinics for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

Urgent care medicine is a fast-expanding specialty that is attracting the attention of seasoned physicians who are potentially seeking to make career transitions. Emergency medicine physicians are a prime example. For many of them, switching to urgent care has many advantages. Consider the following:

  • Practicing medicine in an urgent care environment enables an EM physician to become a better-informed patient advocate. It allows him or her to provide care that is closer to what is actually needed in a cost-conscious and deeply collaborative manner. By their nature, urgent care patients are more invested in their care and expect their physicians to actively help them make the most cost-effective healthcare decisions possible.
  • Urgent care medicine is typified by the treatment of “everyday” ailments and minor injuries. Emergency room doctors, who are specialists in treating the sickest of the sick, offer a unique skill set that can help in the development of evidence-based care for these patients.
  • Since opportunities for leadership positions in hospital/ED are few, urgent care provides a way for EM practitioners to develop their entrepreneurial qualifications and potential for future leadership.
  • Being an EM doctor can be very stressful. Eventually, the stress can take a toll and lead to burnout, mental fatigue, and, ultimately, job dissatisfaction. Pursuing a career opportunity in urgent care can provide an EM physician with stimulating, front-line challenges on a day-to-day basis without the demanding hours or stressful work environment of an ED.

An EM physician who is interested in making the move to urgent care is encouraged to obtain board certification in urgent care medicine. Being board certified can make the individual more competitive in the job marketplace and demonstrate to prospective patients that he or she has mastered the core competencies of this fast-growing specialty.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® developed the Board of Certification in Urgent Care Medicine (BCUCM) to offer a path to such certification. Please contact the ABPS today for additional information about becoming a board certified urgent care physician and taking the next step in your career by joining the BCUCM as a Diplomate.

The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®