Are All Freestanding ER Physicians Certified In Emergency Medicine?

Freestanding ERsAs freestanding emergency rooms gain popularity, one valid concern is whether their physicians are qualified to practice emergency medicine. For instance, it’s not uncommon to find freestanding ERs across the country staffed by physicians trained and certified in specialties like family medicine or internal medicine. According to one estimate, as much as 40 percent of emergency department doctors lack certification in EM. While it’s true that many freestanding facilities have experienced ER doctors on staff, hiring experienced physicians who have earned board certification in emergency medicine can lend considerable heft to a freestanding ER’s reputation.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) offers certification in EM through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM). By choosing physicians certified in EM, freestanding facilities can distinguish themselves from other organizations. This is because doctors who earn board certification in EM demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills required to provide superior emergency care, having met stringent eligibility requirements and passed a rigorous exam developed by Diplomates of the BCEM under the direction of ABPS psychometric consultants.

Freestanding ERs will find their search for qualified candidates simpler when they focus on physicians who are board certified in EM. These professionals possess not only the necessary EM experience but have also undertaken education beyond the specialty’s minimal standards and competency requirements. In terms of knowledge and skills, board certification in EM puts a freestanding ER doctor on par with residency-trained ER specialists. As a further benefit for freestanding ERs, when candidates certified in other specialties achieve EM certification, they can utilize multifaceted skills to effectively treat a range of illnesses and injuries.

Medical institutions can be confident in the credentials of BCEM Diplomates in particular, as these qualified doctors must have completed a minimum of five years and 7,000 hours of emergency department case work, in addition to several hours of continuing medical education. Through a certification process that allows physicians to learn new material about EM, refresh their knowledge of core competencies, and improve their bedside manner and diagnostic approach, the quality of medical care delivered by a freestanding ER is bound to improve.

If you want more information about the BCEM and the benefits that EM board certification offers to freestanding ERs, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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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