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Endocrinologist obesity training

AACE promise obesity education for endocrinologists

The AACE see endocrinologists as taking a leadership role in the long-term care of obese patients.
New position statement proposes specialist obesity training and certification designed for endocrinologists
Document envisages leadership role for endocrinologists in battling obesity

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has issued a new position statement proposing the creation of an obesity training and certification programme for members of its specialty.

The statement, published on their website, suggests a staged development of an education and training system for clinical endocrinology, the implementation of a certification process intended to produce “highly skilled and capable leadership and educators” in the field of obesity, and a programme of socioeconomic and legislative advocacy aimed at government, health care policy, scientific research, drug development, and public research.

Recognising obesity as a disease, as opposed to a behavioural decision or the consequence of a chosen lifestyle, the statement says that endocrinologists are “well-equipped” to assume a leadership role in the long-term care of obese patients, due to the many metabolic difficulties that obese individuals tend to face.

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians issued a statement welcoming the association’s position, saying “the Obesity Society and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians salute AACE on joining this vitally important challenge to take on the number one health issue facing Americans in the 21st century.”

The AACE propose obesity modules be specifically developed for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education, in two parts.

The first part will establish web-based didactic and cased-based educational programmes in obesity medicine. The second will establish a core group of clinical endocrinologists, with the task of creating advanced learning programmes in obesity medicine.

“It is hoped that following the implementation of this education model, other disciplines and levels of medical education, as well as political and economic enterprises, will follow suit to create a culture and practice embracing the importance of obesity medicine,” says the statement.

Education and certification

The statement also says that “while bariatric surgery has successfully bridged basic research, clinical trials, and technological innovation, it falls short of an envisioned obesity comprehensive care plan” encompassing both the short-term and long-term care of the obese patient.

It adds that as surgical options are not the ideal option for all patients, endocrinologists and nutrition specialists would be ideally suited to evaluate treatment options for obese patients and help to direct their long-term care.

AACE also proposes the development of a certification process for clinical endocrinologists, available once an individual has completed their proposed formalised obesity education programme.

While the American Board of Obesity Medicine offers certification in obesity medicine, AACE says that the curriculum and examination are geared towards the general medical community, and that their certification programme would concentrate on the role and education of clinical endocrinologists.

The certification process, say AACE, is an important logistical component toward ensuring sufficient expertise in obesity medicine, in combination with existing expertise in endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes.

As part of an increased concentration on social change, the AACE has also promised to advocate to help patients with obesity, and enhance the treatment and prevention of obesity as a disease.

The association proposes an “enhancement of its socioeconomic and legislative resources” to help maintain an effective advocacy system, and stay abreast of obesity-related developments in government, industry, and the healthcare system.

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