Emergency Board Certification from the ABPS

Emergency BoardThe 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.

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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.

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