Editor’s Note: ACEP President Angela Gardner, M.D., FACEP, released the following statement on Dec. 10, 2009, regarding the ruling by the Texas Medical Board that physicians certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties could advertise themselves as board certified.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 29 – No 01 – January 2010
ACEP and the entire emergency medical community were surprised to learn that on Oct. 20, the Texas Medical Board ruled that physicians certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) could advertise themselves to the public as board certified. ABPS certifies physicians in 17 specialties. Its emergency medicine board is the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM).
After learning of the ruling, ACEP contacted the Texas Medical Board and, under the Texas Open Records Act, requested copies of all the materials pertaining to this ruling. We are expecting the documents soon, and once they have been reviewed, we will decide on a course of action. We may ask that the medical board hold public hearings, or that this action be overturned.
As outlined in ACEP’s policy statement “ACEP Recognized Certifying Bodies in Emergency Medicine,” ACEP recognizes ABEM and AOBEM as the only certifying bodies for emergency medicine. This has been ACEP’s position for many years, and it has not changed.
In recent years, ACEP and its chapters have actively defended this position in opposing similar ABPS initiatives in other states, including Florida, Kentucky, New York, and North Carolina.
ACEP’s opposition is based on concerns that BCEM allows and encourages new physicians to enter unsupervised practice without residency training in the specialty. ACEP has maintained a consistent position on the critical importance of residency training for physicians entering emergency medicine. The specialty has grown such that residency training is widely available and should be the pathway for new physicians entering the practice of emergency medicine.
In fact, the first sentence in our policy statement “The Role of the Legacy Emergency Physician in the 21st Century” states:
“ACEP believes that physicians who begin the practice of emergency medicine in the 21st century must have completed an accredited emergency medicine residency training program and be eligible for certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) or American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM).”
Unfortunately, BCEM does not share this commitment to the importance of residency training for new physicians, and as a result, ACEP opposes efforts to allow those physicians to advertise themselves as board certified.