The ABIM Foundation works to advance 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 and actively advance the tenets of professionalism in practice. Some of the more important accomplishments of our work are listed below.






  • The ABIM Foundation worked with the American Academy of Nursing to advance team-based care for the chronically ill in ambulatory settings and convened a meeting to develop a set of professional competencies for team-based care. 
    • In response, the Health Resources and Services Administration recruited partners to bring together a diverse group of health care professionals, accreditors and stakeholders.
    • Several workgroups formed to pursue next steps, including the translation of the competencies into professional assessment tools.
  • The ABIM Foundation funded research to explore and develop performance measurement methods to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive care models, such as patient-centered medical homes. 
    • Health Affairs and Health Services Research published the results to 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-sponsored the May 2010 special issue of Health Affairs, “Reinventing Primary Care” and an accompanying press briefing, which was broadcast on C-SPAN. More than 300 stakeholders attended the briefing, which resulted in a number of follow-up stories.
  • The ABIM Foundation established the Benson Scholarship in honor of John A. Benson Jr., MD, past President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and an Institute of Medicine (IOM) member.




  • The 2007 annual Forum, Care Coordination: Is There a Missed Opportunity?, identified successful strategies and changes needed for the health care system to improve care coordination.
    • Lessons learned at the Forum informed work on ABIM’s development of a new care coordination practice improvement module, called the Interprofessional Teamwork Module, and supported the efforts of the Stepping Up To The Plate Alliance by informing recommendations for care coordination.


  • The ABIM Foundation funded 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 ABIM Foundation established 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 ABIM and the ABIM Foundation.
  • The Stepping Up to the Plate Alliance was established to address the issue of care transitions and hospital readmissions. The Alliance was led by the ABIM Foundation, supported by The Commonwealth Fund and the AHRQ, and comprised of nine specialty societies.
  • The Josiah H. Macy Jr. Foundation and the ABIM Foundation funded research on the quality of care provided to older adults using ABIM’s Care of the Vulnerable Elderly Practice Improvement Module.
    • The research concluded that significant gaps in the quality of care for older adults exist and are much more pronounced in the residency clinic setting.
  • The ABIM Foundation funded 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.
    • As a result of this work, more than 400 practices, 1,400 physicians and 17 Beacon Communities worked toward improving performance in practice across the country.


  • The ABIM Foundation and Institute on Medicine as a Profession appointed a task force to explore conflict of interest policies governing the relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies.
    • The task force found 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 published policy recommendations in JAMA that resulted in significant media attention and led many academic medical centers to reconsider their guidelines.
    • In 2008, the Association of American Medical Colleges, in response to the heightened attention to this issue, approved 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 RWJF, the Greenwall Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Josiah H. Macy Jr. Foundation, funded a report from the IOM. The report contended 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 launched the Putting Quality Into Practice initiative. The initiative identified small physician practices that use data to make quality improvements, and found increased physician satisfaction for those who make such improvements.