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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine