Jennifer Seger, MD, FOMA became a fellow of the OMA in 2016. Read her full interview below to learn more about Dr. Seger and her experiences.
Why did you decide to become an OMA member?
I first learned about OMA, back then ASBP, from the internet when trying to find some learning opportunities specific to obesity. Luckily, there was an upcoming conference in New Orleans which I attended. I knew absolutely no one and I honestly remember thinking “Where did these folks attend medical school?” because so much of what I was hearing in the presentations was new information. Still, I was intrigued. I quickly decided I needed to learn more and did a deep dive into the research and attended the next conference that following Spring. I was much more engaged at the 2nd conference and made friends from around the country whom I continue to keep in touch with today. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, eager to share their knowledge and experience. I remember being struck by how truly happy people were who had made the switch to obesity medicine. It was truly inspiring. By then, I was hooked!
What types of relationships/networking opportunities have you found through OMA?
Early on, I became involved in various committees, including the CME planning, advocacy, and membership committees. I had the pleasure of serving as a Trustee to the OMA Board for one term and was a co-author on the first ever OMA Obesity Algorithm in 2013. The relationships I formed and the breadth of knowledge and experience I gained from these experiences have been extraordinary. Through my work with OMA, I was connected with other unique opportunities including serving as an item writer and Board member for ABOM, authoring a chapter on obesity treatment and co-author for the AACE/ACE/ASMBS/TOS/OMA Perioperative Guidelines in 2020.
What member benefit have you found the most useful or have you engaged with the most? List of member benefits is found here.
Having access to reduced prices for CME activities as well as the Pediatric and Adult Obesity Algorithms and free webinars have been invaluable. I have also really enjoyed the new OMA Podcast series.I have participated in the Mentorship program, serving as a Mentor and have found this to be a truly rewarding experience. Though OMA didn’t offer this program formally when I began, I no doubt had numerous mentors that I will be forever grateful to for their support and guidance over the years.
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! And lucky for me it is in my own backyard in San Antonio! I am excited to welcome back old friends as well as have the opportunity to make new ones. October is a great month to visit San Antonio! I’ll be speaking at the pre-conference workshop: Building an Obesity Treatment Plan which utilizes a unique mix of traditional lectures and interactive small group discussions to work through challenging cases. I’m not sure how OMA manages to do this, but I can honestly say that once again, I am excited to see the speaker line-up. I always learn something new and leave feeling excited and reinvigorated to improve my patient care and advocacy efforts.
How would you describe your committee experience?
Committee involvement is a great way to become more involved and get to know fellow members, while truly making a difference in OMA, which means making a difference in the lives of those who are struggling with obesity. Organizations are only as strong as their members, and I believe in giving back to that which has given me so much.
What would you tell someone just starting out in obesity medicine?
Congratulations! Taking steps to learn about obesity, which is no doubt the most prevalent chronic disease of our time, is so important. No matter what area of medicine you are in, obesity impacts your practice. Whether you decide to dedicate your career to obesity medicine or you just want to become more knowledgeable about obesity, recognizing the deficiency that our traditional education system has created in each of us and working to fill that void with evidence-based medicine is admirable.