Emergency Department Physicians: Are all Your Fellow Doctors Board Certified?

Emergency Department Physicians: Are all Your Fellow Doctors Board Certified?When physicians become board certified in emergency medicine, they identify themselves as some of the most skilled professionals working in emergency departments in their area. With stringent eligibility requirements and a rigorous examination process, board certification serves as a trusted indicator of a physician’s knowledge and expertise, so it’s understandable that more emergency departments are choosing physicians certified in EM. By hiring a board certified physician, a medical institution sends a positive message about its credentials not only to patients, but also to the staff.

For emergency room staff members, trust in the abilities of their fellow professionals is key. Emergency departments are high-stress workplaces that demand rapid decision-making, calm confidence, and a superior level of teamwork, all in the service of delivering optimal patient care. Therefore, physicians who have proven themselves through excellent performance and board certification are highly valued. While many emergency room physicians nationwide have earned EM board certification, about 40 percent of EM doctors lack certification in the specialty. This means that, though they may perform well in the emergency room, they have not yet been able to demonstrate mastery through the rigors of testing. As an emergency room physician, wouldn’t you prefer working alongside professionals who have succeeded in displaying the highest level of knowledge? When your fellow EM physician obtains board certification, as you have, it’s safe to say you will share a proven commitment to providing the best emergency medical care available.

The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) urges physicians board certified in EM to encourage other emergency room physicians to pursue EM certification, for the benefit of their own careers, the emergency room staff, and the public. Through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), the ABPS offers physicians currently working in emergency departments the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills required for exceptional emergency medical care.

To be eligible to apply for initial certification, candidates must satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international 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

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.

You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the written exam here.

Once granted, BCEM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.

The BCEM Invites Qualified Emergency Physicians to Apply for Certification

For more information about the BCEM and its eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS 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