announces recertification changes

Letter from American Board of Obesity Medicine Board Chairman Louis J. Aronne:

I am excited to be able to greet you for the first time as the Chairman of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Having been present for the founding of the board, I am extremely excited to see the progress and growth we have experienced.

We administered our 2015 exam in December to the largest applicant pool yet. We have seen a steady increase in the number of physicians taking the certification exam every year over the five years we have offered it, and have now surpassed other well-established specialties in the number of certificates issued annually. We believe that this steady increase parallels the increasing recognition of obesity as a disease, and obesity medicine as one of the leading specializations to manage it.

The ABOM board of directors takes its responsibility to lead seriously, and that extends beyond maintaining standards and overseeing the creation of the certification exam. We have listened closely as Maintenance of Certification (MOC) has grown as the subject of much debate in the medical community. In the minds of many physicians, MOC has become an economic and time burden that may not produce better patient care.

In response to these concerns, and after careful evaluation and consideration, we have decided to lengthen the term of certification for all ABOM diplomates from seven years to 10 years. All current diplomates will receive a three-year extension and will be issued a new diploma with an updated expiration date. In addition, the requirement for recertification will now include 120 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 CME on obesity-specific topics, which can be completed during live meetings or through at-home study over the 10-year period. Recertification will continue to require meeting all of the requirements of licensure, residency completion, ABMS board certification, and passing the obesity medicine exam. We believe this new approach will provide our diplomates with maximum value, while maintaining our standards for quality care. I encourage all of you to read about the details of the updated recertification process on the ABOM website here: http://abomfoundation.org/recertification/.

As medical education continues to evolve, further adjustments may be necessary. When considering any changes, the board will strive to keep the best interests of current and future diplomates in mind in order to continue the tremendous progress ABOM has made to date.

Best wishes for a safe, healthy, and productive new year.

Louis J. Aronne, MD
Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research
Weill Cornell Medical College
Chair, ABOM