Unprecedented surge in applications for obesity medicine certification among U.S. physicians
The realm of obesity medicine is witnessing a remarkable influx of interest among U.S. physicians, showcased by a record-setting number of nearly 1,900 applicants aspiring to gain certification in this burgeoning field, as per recent figures released by the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). The forthcoming certification examination slated for October has garnered the participation of 1,889 physicians, portraying a significant ascent from the 1,001 candidates recorded in the previous year, a steep rise of 88.7%.
This amplified inclination towards obesity medicine certification among physicians parallels the soaring demand among patients for GLP-1 receptor agonist medications, namely Ozempic and Wegovy. The escalating appeal of these medications is underscored by the remarkable sales figure of Ozempic, which, as of August 2023, eclipsed $3 billion in the U.S. market.
Since its inception in 2012, the obesity medicine certification has been bestowed upon over 6,700 physicians. The profile of attendees for the upcoming October exam delineates a diverse representation, with 38% being internal medicine physicians and 30% specialising in family medicine. A prerequisite for appearing in the certification exam mandates physicians to accrue a minimum of 60 continuing medical education credits focusing on obesity.
The burgeoning interest in obesity medicine is also echoed in the sentiments shared by Dr. Judith Korner, MD, PhD, the board chair of ABOM, in a statement released on September 20. Dr. Korner emphasised that numerous diplomats have conveyed their pursuit of certification as a testament to their adeptness and knowledge in addressing obesity—a domain which often receives scant attention during their preceding medical instruction.
Dr. Korner further elucidated that the acknowledgment of obesity as a multifaceted chronic ailment, coupled with the progressive strides in devising efficacious treatment modalities, is fuelling the aspirations of physicians to render optimal care for individuals grappling with obesity. This, she believes, is the propelling force enticing a growing number of physicians towards this rapidly evolving medical frontier.
The establishment of ABOM in 2011 marked the genesis of a structured pathway for physicians to garner expertise in obesity medicine, and the current surge in applications embodies the expanding recognition and relevance of this medical specialty in contemporary healthcare paradigms.
The College of Contemporary Health, based in the United Kingdom, is also a pioneer in the field of education in obesity care and weight management, offering students from around the world certification in the field in the form of both postgraduate education and continuing professional development. Find our prospectus here to learn more.