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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than two-thirds of Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. 35.7% of U.S. adults are classified as obese with 6.3% classified as ‘extremely obese’, based on body mass index (BMI). More than 1 in 6 children are also considered obese.1 A recent survey found that most doctors want to help patients lose weight and believe they should have a role in the process.2

However, most admit they have little to no training in weight management and nutrition, nor do they have anyone else in their practice with such knowledge.

Certification through the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) demonstrates that a physician has undergone the required training needed to better care for these patients. This designation represents the highest level of  achievement in the field of obesity medicine, and ensures you have the knowledge and skills needed to treat the most prevalent chronic disease in America today.

The ABOM began overseeing the certification process for obesity medicine physicians in 2011. Today, our more than 2,000 diplomates can be found in all U.S. states and Canada, and represent more than a dozen diverse fields of medicine such as:

  • Internal medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • OB/GYN
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery

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Verifies your competence in obesity medicine
ABOM certification signifies competency in the practice of obesity medicine and distinguishes a physician as having achieved understanding in obesity care. It recognizes you for your training in effective treatment options and practical tools for obesity as well as weight management counseling and treatment.

Positions you (or your practice) as a referral source
Because very few physicians are certified in obesity medicine, other physicians may refer patients to you. If you are part of a hospital or group practice—or wish to become part of one—ABOM certification may help you increase your appeal as a job candidate or assist with your overall career goals. If you seek to grow your practice, ABOM certification is an excellent differentiator.

Positions you at the forefront in this important and growing field
In 2013, the American Medical Association officially labeled obesity as a disease. Considering the likelihood that 1/3 of your patients fall into the obesity category,3 you will now have the tools to incorporate obesity medicine into your practice or make it the focus of your work.

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Required Credentials

  • Proof of an active medical license in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Proof of completion of a residency in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Active board certification in an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board or osteopathic medicine equivalent.

Required CME Credit Hours

  • A minimum of 60 credit hours of continuing medical education (CME) recognized by the American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credits on the topic of obesity are required for certification.
  • The CME credits must include at least 30 credits earned through attendance at one or more of the designated GROUP ONE meetings listed on the ABOM website.
  • The remaining 30 CME credits may be completed through attendance at additional GROUP ONE meetings or through GROUP TWO study, which includes at-home CME activities and/or attendance at other live meetings where obesity is the specific educational topic.

CME Credit Timeline

  • All 60 CME credits must be earned within 36 months prior to the application deadline.
  • All CME credits must be earned and documented at the time of application.

Exam Administration

  • Once required credentials and CME are completed, candidates may submit an application to sit for the certification exam.
  • The exam is offered on an annual basis at Prometric computer-based test centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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“I often say it’s a don’t ask don’t tell scenario in the office. You’re overweight. I know you’re overweight. We’re not going to talk about it. We really need to change it so that health care providers are engaging with patients, they’re enabling patients, being proactive. But to do that, you need to really know something about this disease process and that’s what training for and passing the ABOM exam demonstrates.”
Dr. Robert Kushner

Professor of Medicine – Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

“I watch patients’ lives transform in front of me. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it happens. And it’s wonderful to take care of these patients and see their lives change.”
Dr. Wayne English

Medical Director – Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss

“I feel like without this obesity medicine certification, I wouldn’t be the doctor that I am today. Because it forces you to keep up with the literature, know who the peers are in your community, know where they are doing research.”
Dr. Dyan Hes

Medical Director – Gramercy Pediatrics

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  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Overweight and Ovesity Statistics. October 2012. Electronic. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx.
  2. STOP Obesity Alliance. New Surveys from the STOP Obesity Alliance Show Primary Care Doctors and Patients See Shared Role in Weight Loss, But Ask, Now What? March 16, 2010. Electronic. http://stopobesityalliance.org/newsroom/press-releases/new-surveys-from-stop-obesity-alliance-show-primary-care-doctors-and-patients-see-shared-role-in-weight-loss-but-ask-now-what/.
  3. American Medical Association House of Delegates. AMA Declares Obesity a Disease. American Medical Association (AMA) 2013 Annual Meeting, 15-19 June 2013, Chicago, IL.


Request information about the certification process.



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