Society Meetings: Valuable Venue to Connect

On September 9, 2019

The American Board of Medical Specialties Member Boards are working collaboratively with their respective specialty and professional societies to shape the future of certification. The boards are ramping up opportunities for mutual engagement by attending various specialty and professional society meetings, and in some cases, hosting them.

The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) hosts annual meetings with 12 societies to identify and address issues of importance to the profession. This year, the focus was on the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission (Commission) report. In previous years, topics included the roles, responsibilities, professionalism, and expectations of ABPath and the societies’ support of continuing certification. Meeting agendas are disseminated ahead of time; the meetings conclude with an action plan to address the issues discussed.

In addition to attending the various Emergency Medicine specialty societies’ annual conferences, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) organizes and sponsors summits to gather input on new and emerging topics related to certification. Representatives of each EM organization are invited to participate in the summits, which in the past have focused on board eligibility, Maintenance of Certification, ABEM’s 10-year examination called the ConCert™ Examination, and potential alternate forms for continuing certification. ABEM leadership also have regularly scheduled telephone calls with the leaders of EM organizations to discuss current events. In addition, ABEM invites the leadership of both EM resident associations to visit ABEM annually on a rotating basis to provide updates, discuss current areas of interest, and support up-and-coming leaders. ABEM staff write updates and articles for society newsletters, websites, and messaging groups.

The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) hosts an annual meeting with the executive directors and staff from societies representing each of its specialties and subspecialties. These meetings have become increasingly important as ABPM works with its societies to transition to a continuing certification program that aligns with the Commission’s recommendations.

The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) invites the leadership of specialty societies to present at one of its board meetings annually and are invited for a reciprocal opportunity, with a goal of finding ways to work together and support the work each organization is doing. When ABPMR staff and leadership attend society meetings, in addition to hosting a booth in the exhibit hall, they often propose educational sessions on board topics. In the past, this has included sessions on certification trends as well as providing personalized guidance for board certified physiatrists completing an Improvement in Medical Practice project.

For the first time, American Board of Radiology (ABR) representatives are attending numerous American College of Radiology state chapter meetings this year to build even stronger relationships with College members. ABR staff also offered hands-on demonstrations of its new Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) at recent association and society meetings. OLA was introduced for Diagnostic Radiology this past January and implementation begins in January 2020 for the other disciplines.

Other boards, like the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), have an established Advisory Council whose members are nominated by sponsoring organizations and appointed by the board. The Council meets in-person annually and the members act as liaisons reporting back to society leadership on ABPS program changes/updates. The Advisory Council members are actively engaged in the development of self-assessment and examination material serving as content experts across focused areas within the specialty (Cosmetic, Craniomaxillofacial, Hand, and Comprehensive Plastic Surgery). Additionally, ABPS staff provide annual reports to various national societies and oral reports to multiple regional plastic surgery societies.

The American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) formed a leadership team composed of officers and executives of ABMGG and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics that meets several times a year. The goal is to increase collaboration, recognize issues impacting the professional community, and develop educational activities that support board certified medical geneticists. In addition, ABMGG has a presence at its respective societies’ meetings, where board staff and leadership are available to answer questions and hold informational question-and-answer sessions with society members.

Both the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and America Board of Urology hold open forums/town halls at their respective specialty societies’ meetings, where leadership answer questions from society members.

© 2019, American Board of Medical Specialties.

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