September 2013 - Letter from the President

Dear Colleagues,

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As the registration deadline for the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) approaches on Sept. 20, I’d like to take a moment to revisit the development of this first Obesity Medicine Certification exam available via computer-based testing centers in the U.S. and to encourage those that may be interested in pursuing to do so.

The concept of the exam was created nearly a decade ago, and put into place beginning in 2012 to address a gap between recommended obesity care and physician practice. Time restraints during a busy practice, lack of effective treatment options and practical tools, low confidence or insufficient training in weight management skills and counseling, or concerns about patients’ sensitivities about their physicians discussing body weight or BMI are some of the primary reasons for this gap.

To address these needs and create standardization and increased competency in the obesity field, TOS, along with 13 other society and organization partners, formed a steering committee that eventually led to the development of the ABOM exam.

If you’re not familiar with the process of becoming an ABOM diplomate, here’s a brief overview: First an applicant must complete the requisite training and experience qualifications, then meet the continuing medical education requisites, and finally pass a stringent certification examination. Certification periods are seven years and require a thorough understanding of the treatment of obesity and the genetic, biologic, environmental, social, and behavioral factors that contribute to the disease. Once certified, obesity medicine physicians provide comprehensive approach to treatment, which may include support from other healthcare providers, including nutritionists, exercise physiologists, psychologists and bariatric surgeons to achieve optimal results.

If you are interested in earning a subspecialty in obesity medicine, the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) is holding its next exam Dec. 7-14. You can find out more here. Further, if you're planning to take the exam, the Obesity Society ABOM review course held during ObesityWeek 2013 can help you prepare. Find out more about the course here.

In addition to the CME programs at ObesityWeek, TOS recently announced the release of three, new online learning modules designed to familiarize physicians with obesity medicine. The course topics include: Nutrition, Practice Management and Pediatric Assessment. These courses are part of the Society’s efforts to help physicians prepare for the exam, and seven more courses will be published in 2013. You can access the new courses online here (scroll to the bottom of the page). 

Congratulations to those of you who have completed your certification. I look forward to meeting the next class of ABOM diplomates in November at the inaugural ObesityWeek event.




Harvey Grill, PhD

President, The Obesity Society

(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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