Get Board Certified in Emergency Medicine

Get Board Certified in Emergency MedicineAn increase in emergency room visits and the ongoing shortage of qualified emergency medicine physicians have meant that emergency departments across the nation continue to be staffed by doctors who are not residency-trained in EM. Many ER doctors are instead trained and certified in primary fields, such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and general surgery, and they have proven themselves highly capable of delivering expert medical care in the high-stress ER environment. In fact, many of them go on to establish productive careers in emergency departments.

But as more emergency departments require that their emergency doctors be certified in emergency medicine, non-EM-residency-trained doctors should consider becoming board certified in the specialty. If you are an EM physician who has completed a primary care residency and have had substantial and identifiable experience working in the ER, then it may be time to consider verifying your qualifications to your employer and the public by becoming board-certified in emergency medicine. There is only one pathway to accomplish this.

The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) offers qualified candidates a path to certification in EM through its Member Board, the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM). While the BCEM has some of the most rigorous eligibility standards in North America, the benefits of BCEM certification are undeniable. Chiefly, it gives ER physicians the opportunity to display competency in this demanding specialty. BCEM certification also shows current and prospective employers that non-EM-certified doctors possess skills that are on par with residency-trained ER specialists. BCEM certification can also lead to opportunities for advancement in the medical field given that board certification is considered a significant professional achievement.

Furthermore, BCEM certification helps boosts the reputations and authority of emergency rooms because BCEM Diplomates are formally recognized as physicians who have shown themselves masterful at delivering the highest level of emergency care.

Before applying for BCEM certification, candidates are required to fulfill the general prerequisites set by the ABPS, which includes:

  • Graduation from a recognized U.S. or Canadian allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine.
  • Holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada.

You can find more information about the eligibility requirements for BCEM certification here.

Once candidates are deemed eligible, they must pass both a written and oral exam to attain BCEM certification. The written exam consists of 325 multiple-choice questions and is computer-based. Candidates must pass the written exam to be eligible for the oral exam. Once granted, BCEM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the written exam here.

Candidates for BCEM certification must submit documentation attesting to their case experience and conforming to the ABPS code of ethics. Additionally, the BCEM requires that non-EM-certified physicians complete an accredited and approved primary care residency and at least five years and 7,000 hours of full-time practice in an emergency room.

Need more information about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements? Contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
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
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