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Rural Hospitals Should Require Specialty Certification in Emergency Medicine

Rural Hospitals Emergency MedicineAt the American Board of Physician Specialties®, we believe that rural hospitals should require their emergency department physicians to become board certified in emergency medicine. With that said, we understand that many of our nation’s emergency departments are staffed by physicians who completed their ACGME or AOA residencies in a primary care discipline other than emergency medicine. In fact, as many as one out of every 15 family physicians spends as much as 80 percent of their time in emergency or urgent care. To help these highly experienced physicians, the ABPS is pleased to offer a path toward board certification through the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM).

Rural hospitals, in particular, tend to be staffed by physicians who completed their residency training in a primary care field. Often, these hospitals are understaffed and the shortage of EM-certified physicians in more isolated communities is significant. As a result, the physicians who are available frequently find that they spend more and more time offering their services in high-risk, high-volume emergency departments to meet their communities’ needs, even if they completed their residences in a different field of medicine. To accommodate these physicians who have spent their careers in the emergency department, the ABPS is pleased to offer an avenue toward board certification in emergency medicine.

One of the reasons that the ABPS encourages rural hospitals to have their emergency medicine physicians consider board certification is that hospital groups, insurance companies, and other stakeholders are increasingly prioritizing board certified physicians. As a result, qualified physicians who have extensive training and experience in emergency medicine are simply being sensible by pursuing board certification because it indicates their expertise to potential future employers, patients, and management. What’s more, board certification is a source of tremendous pride among our Diplomates, and we want the physicians who work in the nation’s rural hospitals to be recognized for their essential role.

For information about the application process and eligibility requirements for board certification in emergency medicine, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.