About the BCEM Exam for Board Certification

Emergency MedicineThe exam for the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) consists of written questions and oral case studies. Candidates must pass both the computer-based written portion and the oral examination to achieve certification. The written portion (two four-hour sessions taken the same day) is offered twice a year at testing centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The oral portion is administered by the American Board of Physician SpecialtiesĀ® (ABPSĀ®) once a year in Tampa, Florida.

The written portion consists of approximately 350 multiple choice questions. The questions are broken down by category. Here are the categories a test taker might see covered on the written exam:

  • Administrative and legal aspects
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Dermatologic disorders
  • Ear, nose, throat
  • Endocrine, metabolic, nutritional disorders
  • Gastro and abdominal disorders
  • Hematologic, oncologic, immunologic disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nephrologic disorders
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Ophthalmologic disorders
  • Orthopedic disorders
  • Pediatric disorders
  • Pharmacology
  • Procedures and skills
  • Pulmonary and respiratory disorders
  • Psychiatric and behavioral disorders
  • Toxicology and environmental disorders
  • Traumatic disorders
  • Urogenital disorders

The oral portion of the BCEM exam consists of five case studies. These are broken down into two single-patient encounters and one triple-patient encounter, during which the test taker is required to manage three patients simultaneously. These case studies will require the candidate to explain methods for determining patient history and physical examination, as well as the labs and tests, patient management, and diagnosis. The disposition and pathophysiology of the patients also must be explained. In order to pass this portion, all five patient simulations must be managed successfully.

To learn more about the BCEM exam or eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board 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.

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