Since 1999, the ABIM Foundation has worked toward its mission of advancing medical professionalism into clinical policy and practice. We view our work as an ongoing collaborative process, engaging the health care community—physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, consumer organizations and patients, delivery system leaders, payers and policy makers—to build a shared understanding of professionalism and actively advance the tenets of professionalism in practice.
The ABIM Foundation, along with Consumer Reports and nine medical specialty societies, announce the first set of lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.
The Physician Charter turns 10.
- Highlighting the Charter’s impact in advancing professionalism, Christine K. Cassel, MD; Virginia Hood, MBBS, MPH; and Werner Bauer, MD publish A Physician Charter: The 10th Anniversary in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The 2011 Professionalism Article Prize winners are announced.
- More than 100 articles were reviewed for the second annual Professionalism Article Prize contest and were organized into three categories: Commentary/Perspective, Medical Education and Training, and Professionalism in Practice. The winning articles examine core issues highlighted in Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter.
The 2012 ABIM Foundation Forum: Choosing Wisely in an Era of Limited Resources explores how systems, and clinicians working within those systems, can improve care for all patients.
- The Forum examines how these systems address vulnerable populations, defined as groups of people made vulnerable by their financial circumstances or place of residence; health, age, functional or developmental status; ability to communicate effectively; and personal characteristics such as race, ethnicity and gender.
The ABIM Foundation announces Choosing Wisely.
- Nine medical specialty organizations, as well as Consumer Reports, join with the ABIM Foundation to promote conversations between physicians and patients about the overuse or misuse of medical tests and procedures that provide little benefit, and in some instances harm.
- The partner organizations are identifying five tests or procedures commonly used in their field, whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. The resulting lists will be released in spring 2012.
The 2011 Annual Forum, Choosing Wisely: The Responsibility of Physicians, Patients and the Health Care Community, explores the roles of various stakeholders in building a sustainable health care system.
- The 2011 Forum addresses the roles and responsibilities of physicians, patients, and the health care community in building a sustainable system.
The ABIM Foundation launches The Medical Professionalism Blog to engage physicians, patients and health care leaders in a conversation about medical professionalism.
- The Medical Professionalism Blog features guest bloggers writing from a variety of perspectives, including patients, policy makers, medical students and other stakeholders in the health care system. KevinMD, a well-known health care blog, highlights posts from The Medical Professionalism Blog on a regular basis.
The ABIM Foundation recognizes three articles with inaugural Professionalism Article Prizes.
- The winning articles of the Professionalism Article Prizes advance issues central to the Physician Charter – including the role of practicing physicians in controlling rising health care costs; the need to reform medical education and training to prepare future generations of physicians to practice under increasing resource constraints; and the responsibility physicians must take to report impaired and incompetent colleagues.
The ABIM Foundation, in partnership with the Council for Medical Specialty Societies, awards Putting the Charter into Practice grants to organizations developing projects to help facilitate the development of innovative, emerging strategies to advance appropriate health care decision-making and the stewardship of health care resources.
The ABIM Foundation works with the American Academy of Nursing to advance team-based care for the chronically ill in ambulatory settings and convenes a meeting to develop a set of professional competencies for team-based care.
- In response, the Health Resources Services Administration recruits partners to bring together a diverse group of health care professionals, accreditors and stakeholders. The group reviews and refines a foundational set of competencies for interprofessional team-based care developed by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, a group of six health professional education associations.
- Several workgroups form to pursue next steps, including the translation of the competencies into professional assessment tools.
The ABIM Foundation funds research to explore and develop performance measurement methods to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive care models, such as patient-centered medical homes.
- The research finds that using a measurement tool to qualify medical homes without quality measures would not result in uniform improvements of quality. Health Affairs and Health Services Research publish the results that provide important information for policy makers considering the expansion of the patient-centered medical home model in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The ABIM Foundation co-sponsors the May 2010 special issue of Health Affairs, “Reinventing Primary Care” and co-sponsors an accompanying press briefing, broadcast on C-SPAN. More than 300 stakeholders attend the briefing, which results in a number of follow-up stories.
- The Health Affairs issue includes an article authored by ABIM staff presenting the findings of a field study on how teams work—or don’t—in primary care. They report that for practices to succeed in managing diverse patients and help them understand and manage their own health, it is critical to organize teams with shared roles and responsibilities.
The 2010 annual Forum, Transforming Medical Education and Training to Meet the Needs of Patients and Society addresses the need for a social compact for medical education and clinical training to maintain a high-performing, evolving health care system.
- The Principles for the Social Compact for Medical Education and Training (pdf) articulates expectations for training the physician workforce needed to support 21st-century health care and what society needs to contribute in turn.
- Forum participants initiate a number of follow-up activities in the areas of:
- Learning and assessing competencies
- Transforming primary care
- Using graduate medical education (GME) funds to drive performance and innovation
- The promotion of inter-professional education, evaluation, assessment and accreditation.
- A February 2011 perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine calls for a transformation of the GME system to ensure the sustainability of the U.S. health care system in light of the country’s growing geriatric population.
The ABIM Foundation establishes the Benson Scholarship in honor of John Benson Jr., MD, past President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and an Institute of Medicine (IOM) member.
- The goal of the Benson Scholarship is to enable talented, early-career health science scholars to participate actively in the work of the IOM and to further their careers as future leaders in the field.
- The ABIM Foundation names Seth Glickman, MD, MBA as the 2010 Anniversary Fellow.
|John Benson Jr, MD
The 2009 annual Forum, Achieving Equity, Affordability and Quality: The Indispensable Role of Payment Reform, produces a set of principles for physician payment reform to help drive greater quality, efficiency and accountability in health care.
Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation
- Principles for Physician Payment Reform is disseminated and endorsed by more than 25 organizations.
- The Forum leads to a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece arguing that the current pay-for-performance model must focus on patient-centered care, outcomes, value and efficiency.
- Informed by work done at the Open Space sessions of the Forum, a Washington, DC Health Affairs briefing on advanced illness care is held on August 20, 2009. Panelists include Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation.
- Additionally, a May 2010 Health Affairs article, based on Harvey Fineberg’s Kimball Lecture, advances the Principles for Physician Payment Reform as a guide for redesign of physician payment reform.
The ABIM Foundation Putting the Charter into Practice grant program provides grants to organizations exploring concepts in professionalism and identifying best practices to advance it among practicing physicians.
The 2006 annual Forum Efficiency in Health Care – Is There a Shared Vision? stimulates interest in assessing physicians’ ability to avoid unnecessary or harmful interventions.
- The Forum culminates in an issue brief that explores inefficiencies in the health care system and identifies supply, physician behavior, patient demands and operational waste as opportunities to impact costs. The brief advances the concept of practice improvement modules as an opportunity to measure resource use as part of physician assessments.
The ABIM Foundation funds the creation of a tool called the Professionalism Mini-Evaluation Exercise (P-MEX) to evaluate behaviors reflective of professionalism and identify areas for development.
- The tool is now used widely by residency program directors to evaluate professional behaviors and identify areas for development.
- The ABIM Foundation supports and publishes a study in Academic Medicine, finding that the P-MEX is a feasible format for evaluating professionalism in clinical training.
The ABIM Foundation establishes the Kimball Scholar program to honor the substantive contributions of Harry Kimball, MD, MACP to ABIM, internal medicine and its subspecialties, and to the profession as a whole. Dr. Kimball is a former President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ABIM Foundation.
Past Kimball Scholars include:
- Jeanette Mladenovic, MD
- Barbara Turner, MD
- Michael Green, MD
- Hoangmai Pham, MD
- Shiphra Ginsburg, MD, MEd
The ABIM Foundation convenes more than 100 leaders in health care at its annual Forum, Physician Leadership and the Role of Board Certification in Assuring Quality and Accountability. Participants discuss physician leadership and the role of board certification in assuring quality and accountability.
- The 2005 Forum initiates work that leads to certifying boards developing arrangements to start recognizing Maintenance of Certification in pay-for-performance measures.
The Stepping Up to the Plate Alliance is established to address the issue of care transitions and hospital readmissions. The Alliance is led by the ABIM Foundation, supported by the Commonwealth Fund and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and comprised of nine specialty societies.
The Macy Foundation and the ABIM Foundation fund research on the quality of care provided to older adults using the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Care of the Vulnerable Elderly (CoVE) Practice Improvement Module.
The research concludes that significant gaps in the quality of care for older adults exist and are much more pronounced in the residency clinic setting. Patients from the residency clinic sample are also less likely to report receiving guidance and interventions for important aspects of geriatric care than patients from a sample of practicing physicians.
To date, the research has resulted in two peer-reviewed manuscripts:
The ABIM Foundation funds a seed grant to explore how to work with primary care specialty societies and specialty boards to improve performance in practice. The Improving Performance in Practice Initiative provides improvement coaches for smaller practices to help them engage in quality improvement.
The ABIM Foundation and Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) appoint a task force to explore conflict of interest policies governing the relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies.
The task force finds that the policies governing these relationships are lax and ignore important issues, such as disclosure, speaker’s bureaus, ghostwriting and reimbursements for food, gifts and travel.
- In 2006, the task force publishes policy recommendations in the Journal of the American Medical Association that result in significant media attention and lead many academic medical centers to reconsider their guidelines.
- In 2008, the Association of American Medical Colleges, in response to the heightened attention on this issue, approve recommendations on conflict of interest based on the work of the task force.
- In 2009, the ABIM Foundation, along with National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, fund a report from the Institute of Medicine. The report contends that voluntary and regulatory measures can strengthen protections against financial conflicts of interest without hindering patient care or the advancement of medical knowledge.
The ABIM Foundation launches the Putting Quality Into Practice initiative. The initiative identifies small physician practices that use data to make quality improvements, and finds increased physician satisfaction for those who make such improvements.
The Kimball Lecture is created to honor Harry Kimball, MD, MACP, a board certified internist. Dr. Kimball served as President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation from 1991 to 2003.
As the centerpiece of its opening day agenda, the Kimball Lecture sets the stage for the annual ABIM Foundation Forum. Kimball Lecturers are selected for their influence and leadership in health care. Kimball Lecturers have included*:
Harry Kimball, MD, MACP
- 2004: Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- 2005: John W. Rowe, MD, Chairman and CEO, Aetna
- 2006: Karen Davis, PhD, President, Commonwealth Fund
- 2007: Thomas Bodenheimer, MD, MPH, Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital
- 2008: Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- 2009: Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, President, Institute of Medicine
- 2010: Thomas Nasca, MD, CEO, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
- 2011: Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University
*Affiliations at the time lecture was presented
The ABIM Foundation, American College of Physicians Foundation and European Federation of Internal Medicine publish Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter.
- The Physician Charter has been endorsed by more than 130 organizations with more than 100,000 distributed worldwide.
- Since the release of the Physician Charter, the number of yearly journal articles focused on medical professionalism has increased nearly threefold.
- The Physician Charter is used in white coat ceremonies and as a blueprint for designing medical school curricula.
- A 2007 article published in Annals of Internal Medicine relates a study of how well physicians model behaviors extolled in the Physician Charter.
- As of 2011, according to Google Scholar and Books, 956 articles and 412 books cite the Physician Charter.