introduces strategic plan

Over the weekend of September 18-19, the ABOM Board of Directors met in Chicago to hold its first Strategic Planning session. This was a milestone for our organization as we enter our fifth year. Along with drafting a new mission and vision statement, we established three overarching goals:

  • Continue to increase the number of ABOM diplomates
  • Continue to improve the infrastructure of ABOM
  • Collaborate with allied professional societies and primary certification boards to potentially position ourselves as an ABMS sub-specialty or area of focused practice.

Regarding the first goal, we have already demonstrated impressive results. The number of candidates taking the ABOM examination has more than doubled from 224 in 2012 (the first year the ABOM examination was offered) to 540 this year. Further outreach efforts to increase the awareness of the ABOM will be made through CME presentations, peer-to-peer education, and intersociety communication among others. Our current ABOM diplomates are perhaps the greatest asset to spread the word. Toward this end, we will continue to strengthen our community of diplomates by adding additional features to the ABOM website and diplomate resources.

Solidifying the infrastructure of the ABOM primarily pertains to creating a process improvement for the examination and the entire certification pathway. This will be accomplished by providing enhanced item writing training by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and recruiting an increased number of talented item writers among diplomates (see below if you would like to join this effort). We will also review eligibility criteria and the components of maintenance of certification. An additional effort will focus on upgrading the online application portal and review process.

The last goal is anticipatory and uncertain – the potential of applying for sub-specialty or focused practice designation by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The relationship between the primary boards and the ABMS is currently in flux. It is unclear what the future will bring and the ABOM will continue to monitor changes over the coming years. Be that as it may, we will continue to grow as a strong and viable board. We will work with our specialty societies to develop a uniform curriculum that defines the knowledge, skills and behavior of an obesity medicine specialist.