Rural, Primary Care-Trained Physicians Should be Able to Demonstrate their Competence in Emergency Medicine
Across North America, rural hospitals are predominately staffed by primary care-trained physicians. Often, this is due to staff shortages and physicians answering the call of their communities by working in local emergency rooms despite having no residency training in Emergency Medicine. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® and the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicinesm (BCEM), we believe that these highly trained physicians deserve the opportunity to earn board certification in their area of expertise, and our eligibility requirements are such that physicians with extensive, certifiable experience in the emergency room may be considered for board certification.
Board Certification in Emergency Medicine From the ABPS
These days, being board certified in your area of expertise is more important than ever before. Not only do patients recognize board certification as a trusted indicator of a physician’s credibility and credentials, but employers, recruiters, and credentialers are increasingly requiring certification for employment and advancement. With this in mind, it’s a question of fairness for primary care physicians who have significant emergency room experience. We recognize the tremendous commitment that these physicians have made within Emergency Medicine, and we offer the opportunity to pursue board certification in EM provided that the candidate:
- Has practiced Emergency Medicine for a minimum of five years while accumulating 7,000 hours of ER time
- Has completed a residency in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, or General Surgery
- Adheres to the eligibility requirements found here
Emergency Medicine Fellowships for Primary Care Physicians
Additionally, we have developed a standard for training in Emergency Medicine that, when completed over a 12- or 24-month period, can lead directly to board certification. These are fellowship programs that must be approved by the American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP). The AAEP recognizes teaching hospitals and medical schools that offer distinguished emergency medicine fellowships for primary care physicians. Completion of an AAEP-approved fellowship enables graduate fellows to apply for certification with the BCEM.
Emergency Medicine Board Certification as a Career Investment
Becoming board certified through the BCEM is an excellent investment into your career, a personal accomplishment that you can be proud of, and an opportunity to join a community of like-minded physician leaders.
Hospitals, practice management groups, and others who employ physicians would do well to advocate board certification. Hiring board-certified physicians demonstrate to current and prospective patients that an organization’s physicians have the expertise required to provide safe and effective medical care. Hiring board-certified physicians makes good business sense, as it fulfills the first duty of a healthcare organization—to provide the best care available.
To learn more about the advantages to board certification, our various eligibility requirements, and why we believe that all rural primary care physicians should consider pursuing board certification, contact the ABPS today. We are the nationally recognized multi-specialty certifying board that developed the BCEM.