ABPS Board Certification for Family Physicians in Emergency Medicine

Family Physicians in Emergency MedicineThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) is committed to enabling eligible family physicians with extensive experience in emergency medicine to become board certified in Emergency Medicine. The goal is to provide board certification for career emergency physicians whose extensive experience in emergency medicine might be overlooked or disregarded by other board certification bodies. To the ABPS, experience matters, and physicians whose experience in emergency medicine warrants board certification should have that option.

The shortage of physicians who are board certified in emergency medicine is especially acute in rural areas, because the majority of emergency department physicians complete their EM residencies at large, high-volume hospitals in the cities where they completed their training. However, the ABPS recognizes that there are many underserved areas nationwide, and it is our goal to help reduce that gap by providing eligible emergency physicians achieve board certification.

Yet, just because the ABPS advocates providing the opportunity for experienced family practitioners to become board certified in emergency medicine, it does not mean the pathway is easy. In fact, the ABPS and the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) employ highly rigorous standards for eligibility – among the most stringent in the nation. There are three potential options for family physicians to achieve emergency medicine board certification. They are:

  • Option One
    • Satisfactorily complete an ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC-accredited emergency medicine residency
  • Option Two
    • Satisfactorily complete an ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC-accredited primary care residency in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, or general surgery
    • Practice emergency medicine full-time for at least five years and a minimum of 7,000 hours
  • Option Three
    • Satisfactorily complete one of the primary care residencies listed above
    • Complete a 12- or 24-month Graduate Training Program (GTP) approved by the BCEM

For more information about eligibility requirements, or if you have questions about emergency medicine board certification through the ABPS, contact us today.

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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.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine