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July 27, 2023

August OMA Member Highlight

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OMA Member Highlight graphic image: half orange, half gray with a headshot of Dr.Jerome Puryear. To the left of the image is the text: OMA Member Highlight, Jerome Puryear Jr. MD, DABOM with the OMA logo in the bottom right corner

Jerome Puryear, Jr., MD, DABOM, became an OMA member in 2019 and has greatly impacted his time here. He is an active CME and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee member.

“I joined the OMA to network with other healthcare professionals and leaders who are dedicated to improving the lives of patients affected by obesity through scientific evidence-based methods that have a long-lasting impact,” said Dr. Puryear.

Read his full interview below to learn more about Dr. Puryear and his experiences.

Why did you decide to become an OMA member?

I initially attended a review course for the Obesity in Medicine board exam in New York. After doing some research, I discovered that the OMA offered Prep Bundles, Self-Assessment Programs, and other essential educational materials for exam preparation. The OMA provided a wealth of educational resources, including webinars and clinical tools, that I found extremely valuable.

Also, I joined the OMA to network with other healthcare professionals and leaders dedicated to improving the lives of patients affected by obesity through scientific, evidence-based methods that have a long-lasting impact.

What types of relationships/networking opportunities have you found through OMA?

Thanks to OMA, I’ve had the opportunity to connect and network with medical professionals and obesity experts nationwide. Through attending conferences, meetings, and social events and participating in OMA committees, I’ve connected with other clinicians and healthcare providers. This collaboration has allowed us to share our knowledge and experiences and explore innovative approaches to treating obesity.

What member benefit have you found the most useful or engaged with the most?

  • Obesity Algorithm E-books
  • Discounted Conference Registration and On Demand CME
  • Committee Involvement to raise awareness about obesity and treatment options.
  • Career-boosting resources like practice toolkits, guidelines, and handouts can enhance patient education and optimize treatment.

Will you be able to attend an OMA conference in 2023? If so, what are you most looking forward to? If not, what have you found most valuable from previous conferences?

Yes, I attended the annual OMA Spring Conference earlier this year.

Although there were many valuable sessions, I found these two sessions memorable and meaningful.

  1. Dr. Garbrielle Lyon’s session

I attended Dr. Gabrielle Lyon’s “Protein Perspectives” session on Saturday. She discussed the muscle changes in aging populations, focusing on optimizing skeletal muscle and the role of leucine in muscle protein synthesis.

Dr. Lyon highlighted the importance of a balanced approach to protein synthesis to prevent age-related conditions such as muscle loss. She also emphasized optimizing dietary protein and energy intake, particularly in aging individuals.

A key takeaway was the challenge of determining the quantity of leucine in food due to missing information on protein labels. This information is crucial for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

  1. Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bolle’s session

On the conference’s final day, Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, M.D., presented “Individualizing Obesity Treatment Goals in Clinical Practice.” She highlighted the limitations of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a tool that only considers total body weight without considering body composition.

Dr. Sylvia emphasized the need for the medical community to acknowledge these limitations, as BMI is a population-based tool that may not accurately reflect the health of individuals. She recommended using a tailored BMI chart incorporating age, biological sex, race/ethnicity, and obesity-related diseases to assess health more effectively.

How would you describe your committee experience?

My experience on the OMA CME and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee has been very informative. It has allowed me to recognize their significance within the OMA and understand their crucial role in preparing for conferences/meetings and improving outreach to marginalized communities. It is reassuring to be surrounded by committee members who share the same passion for creating meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of patients with obesity.

What would you tell someone just starting in obesity medicine?

I would advise anyone just starting in obesity medicine to be patient, empathetic, and non-judgmental when working with patients who struggle with obesity. The solution to this issue is not as simple as “eat less and work more” to achieve optimal weight; it is much more complex. I would recommend becoming a member of the OMA to access their resources and network, which can help enhance the care provided to patients.

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Obesity Medicine Association

The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) is the largest organization of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health care providers working every day to improve the lives of patients affected by obesity. OMA members are clinical experts in obesity medicine. They use a comprehensive, scientific, and individualized approach when treating obesity, which helps patients achieve their health and weight goals. OMA offers resources, education, and community to physicians and other healthcare providers in the field of obesity medicine.

Point of Contact: Teresa Fraker, FACHE, RN, CPHQ,