outlines exam enhancements

The beginning of the year is the ideal time to assess where the American Board of Obesity Medicine stands as an organization and where we are headed in the future. As the certifying body for an emerging field of medicine that is growing rapidly, our focus as a board continues to be improving the quality of the obesity medicine certification exam. In 2017, the following efforts will support this goal:

  • Twenty-five physicians will participate in ABOM’s Item Writing Workshop 2.0 in June. This training is conducted at the National Board of Medical Examiners headquarters in Philadelphia and is designed to improve the quality and volume of questions that each item writing committee member submits for consideration as part of the certification exam. Coupled with the 11 physicians that completed the same training in October of 2016, this will leave ABOM with a total of 36 physicians that have gone through this important process. Most importantly, it will offer ABOM a deep pool of item writers who have the skills, knowledge and training to further enhance the obesity medicine certification exam.
  • The one constant request we receive from ABOM exam candidates is for more sample questions to prepare for the test. In 2017, the Sample Test Question Committee will deliver a solid response to this request. Currently, candidates for the exam are given access to ABOM’s sample test question bank of approximately three dozen questions. The committee will meet virtually throughout the year and aims to bring the sample question bank up to 50 questions by the end of 2017. Of note, all current diplomates also have access to the sample test questions through ABOM’s online certification management system.
  • Finally, late last year we alerted you to the fact that ABOM is conducting an updated Job Task Analysis Survey in 2017. This effort is geared toward the long-term future of the test by gaining an up-to-date understanding of the way obesity medicine is practiced by physicians on a day-to-day basis. Your input is crucial to this effort and will ultimately shape the next Test Content Outline, which serves as a blueprint for the creation of future certification exams. ABOM diplomates will be selected randomly to receive the survey. Look for it in your inbox this spring.

I hope you share my excitement about how far ABOM has come and where we are headed in the future.


Louis J. Aronne, MD
Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research
Weill Cornell Medicine
Chairman, ABOM