Information for Primary Care Physicians Interested in Board Certification in Emergency Medicine

Primary Care Physicians Emergency MedicineThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) believes that primary care physicians who have spent years demonstrating a proficiency in an emergency setting should have the opportunity to pursue board certification in emergency medicine.

Around 40 percent of the emergency department workforce in the United States has substantial experience in emergency medicine and has completed a residency in a primary care field. These physicians merit recognition for their knowledge and experience. We also believe those physicians should have a choice of which emergency medicine board to become certified through.

The eligibility requirements for primary care physicians and others must meet to be eligible for ABPS board certification in emergency medicine are among the most rigorous in the industry. We take that approach to ensure the best possible care for patients, as well as to provide eligible emergency physicians a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate the full depth of their expertise.

Physicians who seek emergency board certification must agree to adhere to the ABPS code of ethics and should have:

  • Practiced emergency medicine for at least five years on a full-time basis
  • Accumulated a minimum of 7,000 hours in the practice of emergency medicine
  • Completed a residency in one of the following primary care specialties – family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery

Primary care physicians who wish to earn certification in emergency medicine through the ABPS Board of Certification for Emergency Medicine (BCEM) must verify staff privileges by means of a letter from the administrators of all emergency facilities where privileges are held. Also, applicants for emergency board certification must submit documented reports for a minimum of 10 emergency cases from the past 12 months for which he or she held the lead management role. These are only a few examples of eligibility and application requirements, presented here to demonstrate the depth of knowledge and experience the BCEM requires before an applicant is even considered.

Contact us to learn more about the eligibility requirements for ABPS emergency medicine board certification, or to begin the application process. The ABPS is the certifying body for the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc., providing board certification for 17 medical specialties.

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

ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine