Family Physicians in Emergency Medicine Deserve to Be Board Certified

Family Physicians in Emergency Medicine Deserve to Be Board CertifiedIn a sense, family physicians were specialists in emergency medicine before it was even a specialty. For many decades, they were on the front lines of emergency care, and in the late 1970s when EM was recognized as a specialty, many of the professionals who helped develop the emerging field were family doctors by training.

Today, their vital contribution to emergency care continues. Family physicians serve on the staff of emergency departments throughout the nation, and many of them have established productive and rewarding careers in emergency care. With the ongoing shortage of qualified EM doctors, particularly in underserved communities, emergency departments of all sizes rely on family physicians for their versatility and breadth of knowledge. No less committed to the specialty than emergency residency-trained physicians, they have proven to be highly proficient in the emergency room, a high-stress environment that requires multifaceted skills, a calm demeanor, and decisive decision-making.

And yet, for many, the recognition they seek through certification in the specialty is elusive. At the American Board of Physician Specialties ® (ABPS), we aim to change that. Unlike other certifying bodies that make EM residency training an eligibility requirement, the ABPS does not. We believe that emergency room experience and proficiency are invaluable in preserving our nation’s emergency care safety net. And, as the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states, “Specialty certification alone should not prevent family physicians from practicing in any emergency setting or trauma center at any level.” Hence, our Member Board, the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), offers emergency medicine certification to qualified family physicians with extensive experience in emergency care.

BCEM certification is highly competitive, but family physicians who satisfy its eligibility requirements and pass the stringent certification testing will come away with a verifiable record that they have the knowledge and expertise to provide exceptional emergency care in virtually any setting, whether urban or rural. Additionally, BCEM certification indicates that they are ethical practitioners, as all Diplomates must show adherence to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics.

To learn more about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements, which includes at least five years of full-time practice in emergency medicine, contact the ABPS. As a nationally recognized choice for board certification, we are fully committed to providing physicians a pathway to certification in the specialties they practice.

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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.

When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine