Featuring: Robert Kushner, MD
As a passionate clinician, educator, researcher and advocate, I have dedicated my career to helping improve the lives of those affected by being overweight or having the disease of obesity.
I’m also a member of a group that is one of the fastest growing specialties in medicine – obesity medicine physician specialists.Though I appreciate the growing interest in the field of obesity medicine, I’m acutely aware that when I started almost 4 decades ago, things were quite different.
In my early days of practicing, there was:
Among the list of changes noted above, I take pride in knowing that with the help of my colleagues, we started the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) 10 years ago with the hopes of expanding the work force of dedicated and compassionate physicians who were knowledgeable and experienced in the care of patients with obesity.
Moving forward, I’m hoping that the 5000+ obesity medicine physician specialists certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine can take the lead in the following areas:
1 – Model State-of-the-Art Obesity CareRather than setting up ‘quick fix’ clinics that use unfounded treatments that are either ineffective or designed for rapid weight loss, ABOM Diplomates must model credible standards of care.
What does that look like?
And with new medications becoming available for obesity treatment, this is an optimal time for ABOM-certified physicians to not only serve as a resource to their local health care systems but also become educators.
Whether it’s a local grand rounds conference, participating in continuing medical education presentations, or precepting trainees, ABOM Diplomats have an opportunity to inform and share their experience with other health care providers who are entrusted with the care of patients with obesity.
3 – Advocate to Fight Weight BiasWeight bias, the stigmatization and discrimination of people who are overweight, is rampant in health care, the media, and society at large. We have an opportunity to eliminate weight bias by taking the following concrete steps:
Robert Kushner, MD
This article was originally published Dr. Robert Kushner's website on July 2021.
Robert Kushner, MD is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Professor of Medical Education.
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