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The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician

Updated: Dec 25, 2023


The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician
The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician

The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician


Becoming an Emergency Room (ER) physician involves several years of education, training, and experience. Here is a general path to become an ER physician:

  1. Educational Requirements:

  • Bachelor's Degree: Obtain a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. While there is no specific major requirement, many aspiring ER physicians choose majors in biology, chemistry, or pre-medical studies. It's important to complete pre-medical requirements during undergraduate studies.

  1. Medical School Admission:

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): Take the MCAT exam, which is required for admission to medical school.

  • Apply to Medical School: Complete the application process for medical school. Admissions are competitive, and candidates typically need strong academic records, recommendation letters, and relevant extracurricular experiences.

  1. Medical School (4 Years):

  • Complete a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, which typically takes four years. The first two years involve classroom and laboratory studies, while the last two years include clinical rotations in various medical specialties.

  1. Residency Training (3-4 Years):

  • After graduating from medical school, aspiring ER physicians must complete a residency in Emergency Medicine. The length of the residency program is typically three to four years. During this time, residents gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis and treatment of emergency medical conditions.

  1. Board Certification:

  • Following the completion of residency, physicians can become board-certified in Emergency Medicine by passing an examination administered by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) or the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM).

  1. Licensure:

  • Obtain a medical license in the state where you plan to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state but generally involve passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX).

  1. Optional Fellowship (1-2 Years):

  • Some ER physicians choose to pursue fellowship training to specialize further in areas such as pediatric emergency medicine, toxicology, or critical care.

  1. Continuing Medical Education (CME):

  • Stay current with advances in the field by participating in ongoing education and professional development activities.

It's important to note that the specific requirements and timeline can vary, and aspiring ER physicians should check with medical schools and licensing boards for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Additionally, gaining practical experience through volunteer work or part-time jobs in healthcare settings can enhance your application to medical school and residency programs.


The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician


Becoming an Emergency Room (ER) physician involves several years of education, training, and experience. Here is a general path to become an ER physician:

Emergency Medicine Residency at Kern Medical - Bakersfield, CA



The Kern Medical Emergency Medicine Residency Program was awarded full accreditation by the Residency Review Commission for Emergency Medicine (RRC-EM), with renewal in 2015. Our program is fully compliant with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recommendations regarding resident on-call duty hours.


The ED contains 32 beds consisting of 6 trauma and medical resuscitation bays, 9 monitored beds, 4 respiratory isolation and gynecologic rooms, 1 padded psychiatric observation room, 1 eye room, and an adjacent 6 bed urgent care center with 3 treatment rooms.


Program Coordinator The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician

Vanessa Colin Phone: (661) 326-2168 Fax: (661) 326-2165 Email: Vanessa.Colin@kernmedical.com



Becoming an Emergency Room (ER) physician involves several years of education, training, and experience. Here is a general path to become an ER physician:

Kern Medical EM Clerkship Rotation (repost from Kern Medical website)

Up to 6 medical students per 4-week block can rotate in the Kern Medical Emergency Department. As a busy level II trauma center, there are countless opportunities for suturing, splinting and other procedures. Med students are involved in codes and traumas, especially on a busy Friday night when we need ‘all hands on deck!’ The pace of the rotation and focus of clinical experiences can be self-directed, with encounters at the acute, subacute or urgent care level of illness, in addition to the critical patients mentioned above. Students will join the residents in weekly conferences, will present their own patients to the residents and, after practice, to the attendings as well. Simulation lab is open to students and mock codes are typically run monthly.

If you are an EM interested student, and want a California school- and don’t mind getting your hands dirty- come check us out! And if you are not interested in the ED but still want to learn the Emergency Physician approach to patient care, there are plenty of learning opportunities here!

To apply, submit via VSAS or email Abraham.Escamilla@kernmedical.com. Hope to see you soon!


Housing Information Near Kern Medical - Medical Housing

Coming to Bakersfield, CA for your clinical rotations at Kern Medical?

Coming to Bakersfield, CA for your medical assignment at Kern Medical?

MedBed offers mid term furnished apartment for medical professionals arriving to Bakersfield, CA for their medical assignment.


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The Path to Becoming an Emergency Room Physician

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