Emergency Medicine Board Certification for Career EM Physicians Trained in Primary Care

BCEM Primary CareThe Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine® (BCEM) was developed by the American Board of Physician Specialties® to offer board certification to highly qualified physicians who specialize in emergency medicine. In order to ensure that qualified applicants have the opportunity to pursue board certification in their area of expertise, BCEM offers an opportunity for candidates who completed residency training in Emergency Medicine as well as physicians who were trained in primary care but have chosen to work in the emergency room.

This is important because, traditionally, in order to be board certified in Emergency Medicine, residency training in an emergency department was required. The problem is that many family physicians have worked in their community’s ERs to meet the need of the hospital. In many cases, these professionals have years or decades of expertise in Emergency Medicine and BCEM makes physicians who have indisputable expertise in the emergency room and primary care residency training eligible to pursue board certification.

To be a candidate for board certification in Emergency Medicine, a physician must:

  • Have completed a residency in emergency medicine


  • Have completed a residency in family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery and practiced emergency medicine for a minimum of five years on a full-time basis, while accumulating a minimum of 7,000 hours of ER time during this period.
    • Graduate training in an approved EM Fellowship can be accepted in lieu of five years’ experience

The ultimate goal is to ensure that the best and brightest ER physicians in North America have the opportunity to become certified in their chosen field. Board certification is more than an honorary title, and many hospitals are beginning to require that their physicians be certified in their specialty area, which is why it’s so important that recruiters and hospital administrators know the unique opportunity that we offer at BCEM. If your emergency room is staffed by highly experienced primary care physicians, they should be encouraged to pursue board certification through our organization.

To learn more, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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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.

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