Preparing for the Rural Emergency Department

Rural Emergency MedicinePhysicians who complete residency training in Family Medicine are particularly well suited for emergency medicine. After all, these physicians are used to treating a high volume of patients of all ages and health conditions. For this reason, many of the country’s emergency departments – particularly in rural communities – are often staffed by physicians with a strong background in Family Medicine. Due to a shortage of Emergency Medicine-trained physicians currently practicing, family doctors often answer the call of their community and end up working in the ER – even when they didn’t plan that career path in medical school.

One of the challenges that Family Medicine physicians face is the inherent unpredictability associated with working in the ER. For this reason, rural Emergency Departments tend to be a preferable starting point for physicians interested in working in the ER because they don’t experience quite the same consistent volume as their counterparts in urban environments. However, as George Belkowski, MD, explains in a 2016 blog entry titled Taking the Leap from Family Medicine to Rural Emergency Medicine, these hospitals still treat plenty of “[s]ick elderly people—pneumonia, sepsis, or people who can’t live at home anymore for no specific reason other than they’re frail and old.” These rural ERs also see high volumes of trauma patients, pediatric patients, and people who need access to 24/7 care, which is why, “family practice and general medicine folks have a lot of skills that are well suited to working in rural EDs.”

At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we recognize that Family Medicine physicians who practice Emergency Medicine have made a tremendous commitment to their community. There’s no denying that the transition into the ER can be stressful for even the most highly qualified physicians, which is why we believe that highly experienced ER doctors who completed their residency in Family Medicine deserve the opportunity to pursue board certification in their chosen field. With this in mind, we created an opportunity through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine® (BCEM) for Family Medicine physicians with extensive firsthand training and experience in the ER to become board certified. This levels the playing field and ensures that our nation’s leading ER doctors can be recognized for their expertise through board certification.

To learn more about the BCEM and the eligibility requirements for becoming board certified in Emergency Medicine, contact the ABPS today.

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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.

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
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