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.

Eligibility Requirements of the BCEM

At ABPS, we believe a physician who has extensive emergency department experience should be granted the opportunity to obtain board certification in emergency medicine provided they have previously completed a residency in a primary care specialty such as family medicine or internal medicine. To that end, 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 for Board Certification

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.

Once granted, BCEM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

Recertification in emergency medicine requires documentation of the required number of Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours, completion of the recertification application, and successful completion of the written recertification examination.

Emergency Medicine Fellowship Programs

The BCEM also offers a certification pathway through approved emergency medicine fellowships approved by the American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP). The AAEP recognizes teaching hospitals and medical schools that offer outstanding emergency medicine fellowships for primary care doctors. Completion of an AAEP-approved fellowship enables graduate fellows to apply for certification with the BCEM.

BCEM Certification Is a Mark of Distinction in the Medical Industry

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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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
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