Medical Section, Industries of California Mural at Coit Tower by Ralph Stackpole

Good News About Obesity Medicine Fellowships

Yesterday, we received a very welcome bolt of good news. Suddenly, the outlook for training a new generation of obesity medicine physicians looks much brighter. The Obesity Society and the Obesity Medicine Association have come together to launch the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Development Program. The goal is to build the framework for training more physicians to provide high quality obesity care. Obesity Society President Caroline Apovian explained:

The fellowship development program represents a giant leap forward for the field of obesity medicine in the United States. It will encourage more academic medical institutions to develop training programs in this area. Thus, we can begin filling a recognized gap in physician education. We can begin expanding the pool of physicians providing state-of-the-art care for obesity and its complications.

This will equip physicians to begin treating obesity first. More often now, obesity progresses without much treatment. So then, far more resources go into treating its complications late in the course of the disease.

Diplomates in Obesity MedicineA Rapidly Emerging Specialty

In its first year, the American Board of Obesity Medicine certified only 378 Diplomates in Obesity Medicine. But in the last seven years, that number grew to 2,656. Today, these numbers make obesity medicine one of the fastest growing medical specialties in America. Robert Kushner, who was the founding chair of ABOM told us:

Obesity fellowships are an important and necessary step toward potential recognition by the ABMS. This opens an opportunity to create an unified educational curriculum and competencies regarding the knowledge, attitudes and behavior needed to care for those affected by obesity.

Naturally, ABOM is playing a key role in this new effort, contributing expertise and administrative support. Likewise, Novo Nordisk stepped up with an educational grant to make this effort viable. It’s a exciting start for an effort with many stakeholders and great possibilities.

Meeting a Need

As chair of the new Obesity Medicine Fellowship Council, Lee Kaplan sees an urgent need for this effort. Obesity is perhaps the biggest medical challenge of this century, he says. Because it comes in so many different forms, obesity care requires personalized medicine. The options for treatment are expanding quickly and the future is bright.

But those advances will require professionals with solid training in the best methods of treatment and prevention. Thus the pressing need for training programs in obesity medicine. Joe Nadglowski, CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition, praised this development:

This is fantastic news. That’s because our members will be the ones to benefit from the work of these dedicated professionals. Not only will it lead to more obesity fellows with training to provide the very best obesity care. But also, these fellows will in turn train the next generation of healthcare providers for a better standard of obesity care.

Click here for more details.

Medical Section, Industries of California Mural at Coit Tower by Ralph Stackpole, photograph © Thomas Hawk / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


June 29, 2018