How Career ED Physicians Can Demonstrate Their Competency in Emergency Medicine

Emergency Department PhysicianThe Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) offers qualified emergency department physicians an opportunity to show that they have the knowledge and expertise necessary to perform at the highest level in the healthcare industry. While it’s true that emergency departments across the country rely on physicians trained in primary specialties to deliver critical medical care, and that these practitioners prove their expertise day after day, it’s also true that more hospitals are choosing to staff their emergency rooms primarily with doctors certified in emergency medicine. Consequently, emergency room physicians certified in a primary field such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or general surgery, would be well-served to expand their opportunities by applying for certification with the BCEM.

The BCEM, a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties ® (ABPS), has some of the most rigorous eligibility standards in North America. Requirements for primary care physicians include completion of an accredited and approved residency and at least five years and 7,000 hours of full-time practice in an emergency room. Candidates must also submit documentation attesting to their case experience.

The BCEM exam consists of written multiple-choice questions and an oral exam, both based on extensive practice analysis of the main topics and knowledge in emergency medicine. Candidates can sit for the written portion at testing centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and must pass this portion first before being approved to take the oral exam, which is administered in Tampa, Florida.

Board certification with the BCEM is a high achievement signifying that a Diplomate:

  • Has demonstrated competencies and mastery of emergency medicine
  • Can provide patients with the best possible care
  • Meets or exceeds employment requirements of medical facilities
  • Is engaging in ongoing study to stay abreast of evolving emergency medical care
  • Has enhanced their opportunities for physician compensation
  • Has the credentials that can boost the confidence of patients

If you are a primary care physician practicing in an emergency department and would like more information about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements, or the benefits of certification through the BCEM, contact the ABPS today.

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

ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine