Hospital Leaders: Are all of Your ED Physicians Certified in Emergency Medicine?

Emergency room staff wheeling away a patient on a gurney At the American Board of Physician Specialties® we urge hospital leaders to ensure that all of the emergency department physicians in their hospitals are board certified in emergency medicine. Increasingly, having board certified physicians on staff is becoming invaluable and it is extremely important that the men and women working in your emergency department are able to demonstrate their mastery of emergency medicine. Yet, at the ABPS, we also recognize that many hospitals are staffed by highly trained and experienced physicians who completed their ACGME or AOA residencies in a primary care discipline other than emergency medicine. Through our own Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), we offer an option for certification in emergency medicine.

Why Physician Board Certification Matters

Board certification has become a trusted indicator of a physician’s skill in his or her field of expertise. As medicine has become increasingly specialized, patients, employers, and insurance companies have used board certification to identify the very best physicians in their area. However, this leaves physicians behind who didn’t necessarily intend to spend their careers in the emergency department but elected to anyway in order to address the needs of their communities.

Eligibility Requirements for BCEM Certification

While physician board certification is a completely voluntary process, it represents an exceptional commitment to patient care on the part of the physician. As a nationally recognized choice for physician board certification, the ABPS is committed to helping the very best physicians in North America to receive the commendation that they deserve through board certification:

  • Have accumulated a minimum of 7,000 hours of work in an emergency department over the last five years
  • Successfully completed an accredited residency in a primary care specialty
  • Meet the other stringent eligibility requirements outlined here

Once certified by the ABPS, a physician becomes a member of a community of like-minded professionals who prioritize the advancement of patient care and safety, rather than the business side of medicine. In short, ABPS certification sends the right message to patients, whose decisions about where to go for medical treatment often depend on a physician’s credentials, whether at a hospital, clinic, or private practice.

A Board Certification Solution for Career Emergency Medicine Physicians

Being a medical director in an understaffed hospital is an unenviable position. We know that these dedicated professionals work hard to make the most out of the limited resources available to them in order to best serve the community. If you have physicians in your emergency room who do great work but have not been given the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the specialty they practice, the ABPS may be able to offer a solution. We urge hospital CEOs and other leaders to encourage their career ED physicians to pursue board certification through the BCEM and demonstrate their extensive experience in this growing field.

To learn more about the benefits of board certification with the BCEM, contact the ABPS. We are committed to bringing well-educated, well-trained, and highly skilled emergency medicine physicians into the nation’s emergency rooms.


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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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June 10-15, 2022
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