ABMS Expands Outreach to State Medical and Specialty Societies

On September 9, 2019

As part of a larger strategy of constituency engagement, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) leadership have expanded efforts to create ongoing dialog with state medical and specialty societies about the ABMS community’s action plan for addressing the recommendations made by the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission (Commission).

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“ABMS supports the Commission’s recommendations, and believes that the report reinforces alternative assessment programs and other improvements to continuing certification that the Member Boards have made,” said ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer Richard E. Hawkins, MD. “We’re seeking every opportunity to help societies keep their members informed about the advancements in continuing board certification programs.”

To that end, ABMS has created a newsletter directed to state and local medical associations to provide up-to-date information about developments among the boards’ community. ABMS also hosted a series of informational webinars for state and specialty societies and the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Medical Education in association with the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) and Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) shortly after the Commission report was released.

In addition, ABMS leadership have been meeting directly with state medical and specialty societies as well as local community physicians to get feedback on continuing certification from the perspective of practicing physicians. This year, Dr. Hawkins has met with state medical associations in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He also met with members of the medical staff at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, one of the largest hospital systems in the state, and Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut. At the AMA Annual Meeting in June, Dr. Hawkins was able to meet with multiple constituencies, including the Council on Medical Education, Residents and Fellows, Young Physicians, Academic Physicians, and Organized Medical Staff Sections as well as AAMSE.

ABMS also has increased efforts to engage in dialog with the specialty societies. In May, Dr. Hawkins presented at the CMSS CEO meeting and the 2019 Internal Medicine Summit, the latter of which was hosted by the American Board of Internal Medicine and attended by leaders from more than 30 specialty and subspecialty societies. In June, Dr. Hawkins participated in the summer meeting of the American Academy of Family Physician’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development. In addition, ABMS staff have been in conversations with specialty society leaders about the implementation of the Commission recommendations, particularly to discuss ways that the boards can collaborate with societies to support physician learning.

“These meetings have proven to be quite productive and informative as we have received valuable feedback from society leadership,” Dr. Hawkins said. “These discussions will continue as physicians and other leaders from many of these societies are now serving on Commission task forces charged with implementing key Commission recommendations.

“All of these opportunities emphasize the importance of working and communicating with external stakeholders,” Dr. Hawkins added. “I am hopeful that they will lead to further collaboration to improve the continuing certification process so that it becomes a system that demonstrates the profession’s commitment to professional self-regulation, offers a consistent and clear understanding of what continuing certification means, and establishes a meaningful and relevant program that brings value to a physician’s practice and meets the highest standard of quality patient care.”

State medical and specialty societies interested in having an ABMS leadership member present at an upcoming meeting should contact Kristin Schleiter, JD, ABMS’ Vice President of Policy, Government Affairs and Strategic Engagement, at kschleiter@abms.org.

© 2019, American Board of Medical Specialties.

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