Family Physicians Serve an Integral Role in Emergency Medicine
In many ways, family physicians are particularly well suited for their role in Emergency Medicine. This multi-disciplinary specialty includes extensive training in emergency room medicine as part of residency training, and family physicians, by definition, must have a broad skill set in order to best serve the wide variety of patients that they ostensibly see day in and day out. For this reason, physicians who are trained in Family Medicine, are often the first to meet the needs of their community and contribute in the emergency room. However, family physicians are not always recognized for the integral role that they serve in their area hospitals, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is working diligently to address this issue. This organization emphasizes “that family physicians are trained in the breadth of medical care and, as such, are qualified to provide emergency care in a variety of settings.”
As a recent article in the Annals of Family Medicine explains, “Emergency care remains a part of family medicine residency training requirements, and discussions around length of training and content has led to expansion of the required emergency department (ED) clinical experience.” However, the challenge that family physicians often face is that they do not have the same long-term career opportunities as their counterparts who completed formal residency training in Emergency Medicine. In many instances, healthcare organizations, insurance companies, and other shareholders and increasingly requiring board certification as prerequisite for employment in the physician’s specialty area, and this is greatly limiting the opportunities available to family physicians who have made their careers in the ER.
At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we offer highly experienced and qualified family physicians the opportunity to receive board certification in Emergency Medicine through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine® (BCEM). While the eligibility requirements to become board certified are undoubtedly rigorous, they allow family physicians who have unquestioned credentials in emergency medicine to earn the recognition that they deserve.
As the Annals of Family Medicine clearly states, “With persistent shortages of residency-trained emergency physicians, plus new external changes facing all EDs, there is an urgency to identify staffing models that are dynamic and collaborative, and recognize the importance of family medicine.” At BCEM, we are pleased to support AAFP’s endeavors to recognize family physicians for their community to Emergency Medicine, and we encourage qualified physicians to consider pursuing board certification through our Member Board. TO learn more, contact us today.