The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) and its parent organization, the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), which is the third largest nationally recognized physician multispecialty certifying body in the United States, provides board certification to both allopathic and osteopathic physicians in emergency medicine and 14 other medical specialties. ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS), first organized in 1950 to provide a clinically recognized mechanism for specialty certification for physicians who have obtained advanced training in a medical specialty.
BCEM, along with TeamHealth and others, recognizes there are too few emergency medicine residency trained physicians to meet the growing needs of our nation's communities, particularly rural emergency departments. (“Team Health Recruiting Letter Riles Tennessee EPs.” EMN 2009;31:1.) The 1,100 physicians who graduate from emergency medicine residencies each year in the United States fall short of meeting the need.
Primary care residency trained physicians have been and continue to be a critical component of all types of EDs across the country. It is a fact that primary care physicians are well equipped to provide emergency care.
BCEM provides primary care residency trained physicians practicing full-time in emergency medicine a valid and critical option to demonstrate that they can perform confidently, knowledgeably, and safely. BCEM has certified and recertified thousands of well qualified primary care residency trained physicians working in emergency medicine. BCEM diplomates continue to increase in number.
Today, BCEM board certified physicians serve in myriad leadership positions in all 50 states. At no time is BCEM's option to board certification in emergency medicine designed to diminish emergency medicine residency training. Instead, BCEM's focus is to provide a legitimate and recognized option for primary care residency trained physicians to demonstrate competency and to become certified in the specialty of emergency medicine.
BCEM continues to welcome the opportunity to discuss effective methods that emergency medicine residency trained and non-emergency medicine residency trained physicians, including primary care residency trained physicians, can employ to provide care to the moms, dads, and families who present each year to our nation's emergency rooms.
Robert J. Geller, DO