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.

ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine