Emergency Board Certification from the ABPS
The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) believes that career emergency physicians with substantial experience, and a residency in a primary care field, should receive the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise through emergency board certification. More than 30 percent of the emergency department workforce in the United States falls into this category and merit recognition for their knowledge and experience. We also believe physicians should have a choice of which emergency room board best reflects their commitment to caring for their patients needs.
BCEM Eligibility Requirements
The eligibility requirements for ABPS emergency room board certification are among the most rigorous in the nation. This approach is to ensure the best possible care for patients, as well as to provide eligible emergency physicians a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate the full depth of their expertise. To be eligible to apply for initial board certification in emergency medicine, an applicant must first satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S. or Canadian allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada. The BCEM has its own eligibility requirements for three certification pathways that include:
- Completion of an ACGME, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC-accredited residency in emergency medicine
- Completion of an ACGME, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC residency in one of the following primary care specialties—family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery—and at least five years of full-time emergency medicine experience
- Completion of a 12- or 24-month emergency medicine fellowship approved by the BCEM
You can find a list of BCEM-approved fellowships here.
Physicians who seek to earn certification through the ABPS Board of Certification for Emergency Medicine (BCEM) must verify staff privileges via documentation from the administrators of all emergency facilities where privileges are held. Also, applicants for emergency board certification, must submit documented reports for a minimum of 10 emergency cases from the past twelve months for which the applicant held the lead management role. These are only a few examples of eligibility and application requirements which demonstrate the depth of knowledge and experience the BCEM requires prior to consideration.
BCEM Certification Exams
To earn BCEM certification, candidates in all three pathways must pass both a written and oral examination. The computer-based written exam consists of 325 multiple-choice questions. Candidates must pass the written exam to take the oral component.
Once granted, all BCEM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.
Contact ABPS to learn more about the eligibility requirements for emergency room board certification, or to begin the application process. The ABPS is the certifying body for the American Association of Physician Specialists, providing board certification for 17 medical specialties.