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.

Save the Date
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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine