Study for Autumn

The Surge of Physicians Seeking Certification in Obesity Medicine

ABOM Top 5 Applicant ClassesPerhaps we should not be surprised. Because the demand for GLP-1 agonists to treat obesity is not the only thing outstripping supply. It seems that the demand for physicians with a certification in obesity medicine is also having a surge. A record number of physicians have applied to take the certification exam this year – almost 1,900. This is a 50% increase of the number that took it last year. Depending upon the pass rate for the exam, this will likely bring a substantial increase to the number of physicians with a board certification in obesity medicine.

Driven by Patient Demand

Clearly, demand from people living with obesity is driving this surge in demand for obesity medicine certification. With GLP-1 medicines offering effectiveness that has never been seen before in treating obesity, physicians are hearing unprecedented demand from patients. Kimberly Gudzune is Medical Director for the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). She explained what physicians are encountering:

“As there’s more awareness of both obesity as a chronic disease and all of the effective treatment options, patients are coming into their physicians and saying: ‘I want to be treated.’ And I think that is oftentimes the trigger for a lot of busy practitioners to say, ‘I really need to know how to do this.’”

Changing the Order of Things

We should not underestimate the degree of change that is in motion. The world is waking up to something that we have been saying for more than a decade. Obesity is a complex, chronic disease and with competent medical care, people can cope much more effectively. It affects nearly half of the U.S. population and until now, people presumed they couldn’t do much about it.

The catalyst for all this change is the breakthrough of medicines that offer much more effective treatment than ever before. But the change is only starting and change is disruptive. Analysts are noting that many other changes will ripple through the health, nutrition, and wellness environment for years to come.

Change is afoot.

Click here and here for more on the 2023 class of applicants for the 2023 ABOM exam.

Study for Autumn, painting by Wassily Kandinsky / WikiArt

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September 21, 2023

2 Responses to “The Surge of Physicians Seeking Certification in Obesity Medicine”

  1. September 21, 2023 at 10:07 am, Allen Browne said:

    Yup! – as the lyrics go: “the times, they are achangin”.

  2. September 22, 2023 at 8:53 am, Mary-Jo said:

    Great news and long overdue that HCPs become knowledgeable, skilled, more understanding, and empathetic to their patients with obesity, to understanding the disease of obesity better. There ALSO must come changes in OTHER factors that affect people’s ability to get healthier, become successful in managing obesity, such as more AFFORDABLE and accessible health care. Likewise, a more affordable and accessible wholesome, health-promoting food supply in ALL neighborhoods, not just wealthy ones; safe, pedestrian spaces where people can walk and cycle more; community services and spaces where both adults and children can meet, develop social contacts, play, p’haps work-out and MOVE more.