How AAEP Recognition Benefits Fellowship Experience

Bilal Piracha, MDAfter graduating from the esteemed King Edward Medical College in Pakistan, completing a family medicine residency from UPMC McKeesport, PA,  then working as Hospitalist in a Level II Trauma Center Integris Baptist OKC,  Bilal Piracha, MD, still wanted to explore more horizons.  Given his passion to be the savior at the forefront and lifelong empathy for people in need, the emergency medicine fellowship training was the natural next step. The ER Fellowship offered by Alteon Health at Decatur Morgan Hospital in Alabama, which is approved by the American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP), seemed like a good fit.

“AAEP approval means a lot for both a fellowship program and its fellows,” Dr. Piracha says. As he explains, AAEP’s requirements for fellowship programs ensure that ER fellows receive the state-of-the-art training they need, which they fully expect when they sign up, some after quitting lucrative jobs as attending physicians”.

“An AAEP-approved program gives you a clear pathway to ER training that prepares you to become a well-trained and well-versed ER physician,” he says.

Dr. Piracha found that AAEP guidelines made for a smartly structured ER fellowship that trained physicians in best patient care practices. Fellows were required to write several case reports and maintain a procedures log, all while studying diligently for their board exams

But would he recommend his program to other primary care physicians seeking an emergency medicine fellowship? Absolutely, Dr. Piracha says.

“Our ER fellowship program under Alteon is now the biggest ER fellowship program, with four training sites,” he points out. “It’s well developed and has a national fellowship director as well as the site directors. We had good practical training as well as an excellent didactic program of teaching ER medicine practically and academically at every step. We had multiple teaching sessions by specialists in respective fields and hands on experience , at University of Alabama as well.

Once, after studying trauma, we found ourselves on a car race track to be in cars to feel the adrenaline rush ourselves for the excitement yet the danger associated too. So, it was fun to learn and fun to work with the fellowship team there.”

Dr. Piracha is now the Director of Education and Outreach of a leading ER Group WCGTX (Wellness Care group of Texas), currently residing in Dallas TX. He works at few ERs  around the area including McAlester Regional Hospital.

He is passionately working with a team to setup an ER Fellowship in the DFW area at one of a decent sized busy hospitals. Further details to follow in that regard.

If you’re a primary care physician interested in pursuing an emergency medicine fellowship like Dr. Piracha’s, you should know that AAEP-approved fellowships are located in numerous states  throughout the U.S. The American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.® (AAPS) created the AAEP to give primary care physicians an eligibility pathway to board certification by the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). For more information about AAEP-approved programs, contact the AAPS.

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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
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