Primary Care Physicians & the Emergency Room

Primary Care ER PhysiciansAt the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine® (BCEM), we recognize that many of our nation’s emergency departments are staffed by highly qualified physicians who completed residency training in Primary Care. It is our belief that primary care physicians who have spent their careers practicing Emergency Medicine deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery over their area of expertise through Board Certification. Not only is Board Certification a trusted indicator of a physician’s technical knowledge and skills, it is also increasingly mandated by hospital organizations for continued or future employment. For this reason, it is essential that primary care physicians who work in the ER have the opportunity to earn Board Certification and not be precluded from pursuing future job opportunities in their specialty area.

In order for a primary care physician to be eligible to pursue Board Certification through the BCEM, he or she must meet a number of rigorous eligibility requirements. For example, the candidate must have:


  • Completed an ACGME-, AOA-, RCPSC-, or CFPC-accredited Primary Care residency in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or General surgery
  • Practiced Emergency Medicine full-time for five years
  • Accumulated a minimum of 7,000 hours in the emergency room
  • Met all of the minimum eligibility requirements outlined here

The BCEM represents a tremendous opportunity for highly motivated physicians who have extensive experience in Emergency Medicine to be recognized for their mastery of the core concepts that define this integral specialty.

There is a pronounced shortage of physicians who are Board Certified in Emergency Medicine across the country, particularly in rural areas. As a result, many physicians have transitioned into this specialty to meet the needs of their communities. At the BCEM and the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we are pleased to offer these physicians the chance to demonstrate to their patients, peers and employers present and future that they are experts in their field.

To learn more about the BCEM and the benefits to Board Certification, contact us 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.

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