Why Hospitals Should Encourage Board Certification in Emergency Medicine
Finding qualified physicians who are board certified in emergency medicine has long been a challenge for hospital recruiters. The fact that emergency room visits have increased in the last several years only makes the problem more urgent. To keep their emergency departments staffed to adequately meet patient volume, hospitals have traditionally relied on physicians certified in other medical fields, like primary care. In fact, according to current estimates, almost half of the emergency department physicians in the United States are neither trained nor board certified in EM. While this arguably represents an appropriate and necessary response to the shortage of EM-certified doctors, it makes for a less than ideal situation, particularly where a hospital’s reputation is concerned.
Board Certification Can Bolster the Reputation of Emergency Departments
In today’s competitive medical environment, hospital emergency departments staffed with EM-certified physicians stand out from the pack. That’s because the strict eligibility requirements and rigorous examination process of board certification enables qualified physicians to demonstrate that they are among the most skilled professionals in their specialty. So, by hiring an EM-certified physician a hospital announces to its patients and the general public that it is expressly committed to offering the best medical care available.
Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)
As more hospitals prioritize hiring EM-certified physicians, experienced EM practitioners who have proven themselves fully capable of delivering critical care in stressful emergency room environments, but who are certified in a primary care specialty, are placed at a career disadvantage. Compounding this state of affairs is that in order for them to earn EM certification, they must complete a residency in EM, a specialty in which they have already demonstrated expertise day in, day out.
Thankfully, there is a solution. The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) offers board certification in emergency medicine to career EM physicians who have completed a primary care residency. For over a quarter of a century, practicing physicians have benefited from the rigorous certification exams provided by a widely respected ABPS Member Board, the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM). The ABPS urges hospitals to encourage its EM physicians to seek certification through the BCEM and wants recruiters to know that there can be generous insurance incentives for hiring EM-certified physicians. It’s also noteworthy that hiring EM-certified physicians has been linked to decreased litigation risks for medical institutions.
What Physicians Need to Know About Applying for BCEM Certification
To become BCEM-certified, candidates must meet the ABPS general requirements. This entails graduating from a recognized U.S. or Canadian allopathic or osteopathic medical college and possessing a valid, unrestricted medical license in the United States, its territories, or Canada. The BCEM has specific eligibility criteria for certification, which include three pathways:
- Completion of an accredited residency in emergency medicine, recognized by ACGME, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC.
- Completion of a residency in primary care specialties such as family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery, recognized by ACGME, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC, along with at least 5 years and 7,000 hours of full-time emergency medicine experience.
- Completion of an accredited residency in family practice, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, or general surgery, followed by a 12- or 24-month emergency medicine fellowship approved by the AAEP.
All three pathways require candidates to pass both a written and oral examination for BCEM certification.
Get More Information About the Benefits of BCEM Certification
To learn more about certification in emergency medicine through the BCEM, and why hiring doctors certified by the BCEM inspires the trust and confidence of fellow staffers as well as patients, contact the ABPS today.