ABMS Strategic Plan 2023–2028

On June 8, 2023

ABMS Mission
The mission of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is to serve the public and the medical profession by improving the quality of health care through setting professional standards for lifelong certification in partnership with Member Boards.

Executive Summary

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has drafted a five-year Strategic Plan that clearly defines big-picture needs, expectations, and opportunities; anticipates key changes and new demands in the external environment; and defines the major themes and topics that will guide ABMS in the coming years (referred to in this document as the imperatives). This document is not intended to be a detailed tactical plan.

Work on the 2023–2028 Strategic Plan began in 2022 and included nearly 100 individuals from ABMS, the Member Boards, and partner organizations. The development of this Strategic Plan relied on an extensive, community-based process of exploration, discussion, and decision-making, paying careful attention to both internal and external conditions. An important element of this Plan was the identification and development of the following 10 essential Imperatives.

The 10 Imperatives of the ABMS Strategic Plan: 2023–2028
Promote and amplify key ABMS policy positions
Innovate to prepare for the future
Broadly communicate the value of ABMS certification
Measure outcomes achieved by certified diplomates
Develop a culture of trust, transparency, sharing, learning, and improvement
Products and Services
Enhance value and develop new revenue streams through new and enhanced products and services
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Invest in initiatives that support equity in education, training, and care delivery
Promote professionalism and support diplomates’ efforts to achieve high professionalism standards
Promote governance models that achieve both rigor and high standards and protect our community and brand
Program Evaluation
Evaluate programs to build an evidence base and apply findings to drive program enhancements

As the goals and action items for each imperative became clear, it was also recognized that they cluster logically into five strategic themes. Specific initiatives and tactics will be established and deployed to meet these strategic thematic goals:

Strategic Themes for 2023–2028

Imperative Working Group Topics Shown in Red

Strategic Themes for 20232028 graphic 900215492 1

Increase value for stakeholders

ABMS and the Member Boards should increase the value of ABMS certification for stakeholders through organizational processes structured to pursue innovation; develop novel ideas into products and services that can be delivered at scale; create rigorous metrics designed to enhance diplomate assessment, learning, improvement, and professionalism; and provide important data to support robust program evaluation that will guide continued refinement and improvement, and build the evidence base around ABMS certification.

Increasing value for stakeholders was identified as a priority by the Innovation, Products and Services, Metrics, and Program Evaluation Imperative Working Groups.

Promote professionalism

ABMS and the Member Boards should work to ensure professionalism within the diplomate population, help diplomates improve professional behaviors, and take action against the certificates of diplomates who demonstrate professional misconduct.

Promoting professionalism was identified as a priority by the Professionalism, Innovation, and Metrics Imperative Working Groups.

Commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

ABMS and the Member Boards should continue their efforts to increase diversity within the diplomate community, create a more diverse and inclusive culture within their respective organizations, improve health equity, and reduce health disparities.

Committing to DEI was identified as a priority by the DEI and Culture Imperative Working Groups.

Promote and protect the ABMS brand

ABMS and the Member Boards should engage in proactive advocacy and communications efforts to ensure that their key messages (e.g., ABMS board certification is a rigorous and unparalleled process for physicians and medical specialists, it is a trusted credential upon which patients can rely) are widely disseminated, well understood, and effective in shaping the policy landscape at the state and national level.

Promoting and protecting the ABMS brand was identified as a priority by the Advocacy, Communications, and Governance Imperative Working Groups.

Enhance ABMS culture and decision-making

In its role as part of a federated model, ABMS should assure that its governance serves to promote consistency and adherence to high standards across the Member Board community and, at the same time, maintains a convening function to support learning, share best practices, and discuss issues of mutual interest and concern, in service of achieving high standards. Similarly, the culture of ABMS and the Member Boards should continuously reinforce the critical role of standards, enabling ABMS to fulfill its responsibilities to patients and the public as a self- regulatory body.

Enhancing ABMS culture and decision-making was identified as a priority by the Culture, Governance, and Professionalism Imperative Working Groups.

Strategic One Page Plan Graphic 900215506 1

Download this ABMS Strategic Plan 2023-2028 Executive Summary[PDF]

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