Encouraging All Emergency Medicine Physicians to Be Board Certified in the Specialty
The shortage of qualified emergency medicine physicians in the United States has been well-documented. According to healthcare industry estimates, as much as 40 percent of emergency department doctors are neither residency trained nor certified in the specialty. Rather, many of them have completed residencies in a primary care field, like internal medicine or family medicine. Given the current shortage, it’s not surprising that some family physicians spend about 80 percent of their time in emergency care or urgent care.
The problem is especially acute in rural areas, where many hospitals are understaffed. To meet their rural communities’ needs, physicians – whether EM-trained or not – must offer services in high-risk, high-volume emergency departments. Meanwhile, the industry’s hiring practices continue to evolve as hospital groups, insurance companies, and other stakeholders prioritize hiring board-certified physicians. Where does that leave practitioners who are not certified in emergency medicine?
The American Board of Physician Specialties® believes they should also have a chance to boost their employment opportunities, enhance their careers, and improve their earning potential. That’s why we offer certification in emergency medicine through our Member Board, the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM). The ABPS strongly encourages practicing emergency medicine physicians to seek certification with the BCEM. BCEM certification indicates to hospital leaders and stakeholders that these experienced professionals have attained the skills and knowledge to deliver emergency care at the highest levels. BCEM certification also lends enormous prestige to healthcare organizations by declaring to patients and the public at large that their EM physicians are highly credentialed professionals who can be trusted to give them the expert care they seek.
Only the most talented and dedicated physicians achieve BCEM certification, but the benefits are well worth the time and effort the process requires. If you’re an emergency medicine physician who is residency trained in a primary care specialty but is considering board certification through the BCEM, you must submit documentation illustrating your EM experience that includes at least 7,000 hours of emergency medicine practice with no less than five years on a full-time basis.
To learn more about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS. As a nationally recognized choice for physician board certification, we will be happy to provide you all the information you need so that you can one day join the ranks of our esteemed Diplomates who practice their specialties across the United States as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.