Five-year report reflecting on the growth of ABOM
May 25, 2017
Robyn Gordon, The Obesity Society: TOScommunications@obesity.org
SILVER SPRING, MD: Five years after the creation of the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), there are over 2,000 ABOM certified physicians as compared to 587 physicians in 2012. Obesity, the scientific journal of The Obesity Society (TOS), provides a review of the first 5 years of ABOM.
The report presents data from the first 5 years of credentialing, reporting that certified ABOM physicians have steadily increased since 2012 with approximately 40% increases year-over-year. Currently, 2,068 physicians are designated Diplomates of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Robert Kushner, MD, MS, FACP, FTOS, Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Director for the Center for Lifestyle Medicine in Chicago, former ABOM board chairman, and lead author of the paper, said “Science and practice of obesity medicine is insufficiently addressed at the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels. Tackling this challenge will require multiple efforts such as developing competency-based curricula, identifying knowledgeable faculty, and assuring that the national licensing exams adequately assess learners’ knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding obesity.” ABOM, established through a merger of two prior certification pathways, developed the Test Content Outline which itemizes the content areas on the examination.
With obesity on the rise, ABOM Diplomates signify specialized knowledge in the practice of obesity medicine and distinguish physicians as having achieved competency in obesity care. “Stewarded by ABOM, the rise of obesity medicine has begun to take hold in healthcare, as more physicians are now seeking certification in obesity medicine over other common medical specialties,” said TOS spokesperson Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, FTOS, Director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, DC, and co-author of the paper.
ABOM Executive Director Dana Brittan, MBA, is pleased with their growth. “It is very gratifying to see the progress that the American Board of Obesity Medicine has made in our first five years. The end result is that more physicians are being trained to help patients with obesity, who are clearly in need. And that is exactly what we set out to do with the creation of the obesity medicine certification pathway. The foundation that has been established in ABOM’s initial five-year period leads me to be very excited and optimistic about what the future holds for obesity medicine.” ABOM’s next steps are to continue expanding the growth of fellowship training opportunities in obesity medicine and to further refine the standards of practice and certification examination coverage.
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The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity. Through research, education and advocacy, TOS is committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease. For more information visit: www.Obesity.org. Connect with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Find TOS disclosures here.