Emergency physicians set higher standards of education for themselves

May 30, 2002

The Resident's Perspective article in the June 2002 Annals of Emergency Medicine announces the specialty of emergency medicine is requiring its board-certified emergency physicians, beginning in two years, to be tested annually in the latest advances and research in emergency medicine. This requirement will be part of a new program entitled Emergency Medicine Continuous Certification that will be overseen by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).

"It is important for emergency medicine to demonstrate that we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients particularly given increased focus on patient safety and physician accountability," said Robert S. Hockberger, MD, FACEP, who co-authored the article and is a past president of the ABEM. "It is only prudent that we raise the bar for certifying specialists in our medical specialty before either the government or organizations outside of medicine does it for us."

To raise the bar, beginning in 2004, leaders in emergency medicine will pick, from the breadth of published medical literature, the best research relevant to the practice of emergency medicine. All board certified emergency physicians will read the same articles to share a common knowledge and background. To prove that they have mastered the material, they must take annual self-assessment, Internet-based tests that can be taken at home.

The new requirement for emergency physicians is a result of a directive from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the parent organization of all 24 medical specialties, that all boards require continuous certification programs.
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Annals of Emergency Medicine is the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a national medical organization with nearly 23,000 members. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and a Government Services Chapter representing emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

American College of Emergency Physicians

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