Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative

The Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative (OMEC) is an intersociety initiative that was formed in 2016 with the purpose of promoting and disseminating comprehensive obesity medicine education across the continuum spanning undergraduate medical education (UGME), graduate medical education (GME), and fellowship training.

Download the Competencies

The Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative supports medical training programs in the implementation of obesity competencies, as well as provides reliable assessment of performance of the competencies. The competencies themselves provide a framework for medical, nursing, and PA educators to develop an obesity medicine curriculum at their respective institutions. They are the first-set of obesity-related competencies to be developed.

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About the Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative

A major challenge facing medical educators today is adequately training current and future physicians, nurse practitioners, and PAs in the prevention and treatment of obesity. However, the educational response to this escalating problem has been limited due to the shortage of qualified faculty members who are trained in the science and practice of obesity medicine; limited time in a crowded curriculum; and lack of recognition of obesity by a primary or specialty board.

Nonetheless, it is paramount to develop a competent and knowledgeable clinician workforce that can provide adequate care to the 38% of U.S. adults and 17% of U.S. children and adolescents who have obesity.

To this end, the Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative was formed in 2016 through a partnership among the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA), The Obesity Society (TOS), and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The OMEC steering committee and working groups developed the first set of obesity-related competencies based on the Six Core Domain Competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that can be used in undergraduate medical education (UGME) and graduate medical education (GME) training programs:

  1. Patient Care and Procedural Skills
  2. Medical Knowledge
  3. Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  5. Professionalism
  6. Systems-based Practice

The competencies were deliberately developed for learners at multiple stages of training and among different disciplines, since all trainees must be sufficiently qualified to care for patients with obesity. Additionally, since most medical, nursing, and PA curricula are now competency-based, the competencies were designed to be seamlessly utilized within the training assessment framework. Depending on the particular competency, measurement benchmarks that assess knowledge, skills, behavior, and attitudes are included to facilitate evaluator ratings. Similar to competencies in other fields of practice, the OMEC competencies can be applied to:

  • Formative or summative assessment of learners within a training program
  • Assessment of existing or planned curricula
  • Assessment of non-training educational environments

Methods

A steering committee comprised of OMA, TOS, and ASMBS members was joined by representatives from 12 additional professional societies and organizations to form working groups. Using the Six Core Domain Competencies of the ACGME as a guiding framework, working group members collaborated to develop 32 obesity-related competencies with specific measurement and assessment benchmarks. The draft competencies, along with a vetting survey, were subsequently sent out for external review to 17 professional societies and organizations. Results of the review were sent back to the working groups to revise the competencies based on comments.

A final document of 32 obesity-related competencies and associated benchmarks was completed in 2018. The competencies are intended to be used by medical, nursing, and PA educators.

Supporting Organizations

OMEC was spearheaded by the Obesity Medicine Association, The Obesity Society, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The following organizations also lent their support through endorsement of the OMEC competencies.

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
  • American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM)
  • American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP)
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
  • American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)
  • Association for Bariatric Endoscopy (ABE)
  • Endocrine Society
  • Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)
  • Obesity Canada
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
  • Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM)
  • World Obesity Federation (WOF)