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    ABFM seeks Senior Vice President of Research and Policy


    The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) seeks a Senior Vice President of Research and Policy to lead its research enterprise. The major responsibilities of this position will be to:

    • Lead the next phase of the development of the ABFM research enterprise,
    • Co-lead the ABFM's Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care
    • Coordinate and develop ABFM Career Development activities, including the ABFM Scholars, Pisacano Scholars and the Puffer fellows.
    • Help develop and implement a national strategy to engage clinically integrated health systems on behalf of the family physicians they employ.

    The Senior Vice-President for Research and Policy will be a member of the senior leadership team of the ABFM. This is an executive position, with responsibility for developing and implementing policy; the SVP will speak as a representative of ABFM with partners across Family Medicine, other specialties and other professions. He/She will report directly to the President and CEO, attend ABFM Board meetings and work collaboratively with the Executive Vice President, the Executive Director of the Center on Professionalism and Value in Health Care, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Vice President of Operations. The Vice President of Research, the growing ABFM research team and other career development program staff will report to the Senior Vice-President for Research and Policy.


    The American Board of Family Medicine is a leading specialty board. With over 92,000 Diplomates, the American Board of Family Medicine is third largest of the 24 specialty boards in the American Board of Medical Specialties. ABFM has a longstanding reputation for innovation and leadership among the specialty Boards, and was the first Board to require ongoing recertification, to include other specialties on its board and one of the first to develop a portfolio devoted to quality improvement and include public members. Now, with new executive leadership and a bold new strategic plan, the American Board of Family Medicine is poised to launch significant changes in its certification program, build the infrastructure of the discipline and support the role of family physicians and primary health care in implementing the quadruple aim. Additional and ongoing focus on research related to diplomates and their practice will be a cornerstone of this effort.

    The core of the work of ABFM is continuous certification; this includes monitoring the professionalism of our Diplomates, providing ongoing knowledge self-assessment exercises, independent assessment of cognitive expertise and supporting quality improvement. In addition to ongoing certification, ABFM is a sponsor of the ACGME Family Medicine Residency committee, develops leaders in Family Medicine through the ABFM Scholars and the Pisacano and Puffer fellowships, and also serves the discipline through sponsorship of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM) and support of the Annals of Family Medicine. The ABFM Foundation supports education and research across the discipline.

    Over the last decade, the ABFM has also developed a substantial research enterprise. The ABFM has always been a leader within the ABMS community in research on psychometrics and assessment. Adding to this stream of work, ABFM has invested heavily in its database which tracks the careers and practices of our Diplomates over their careers. Led by Lars Peterson MD PhD, and in partnership with the Robert Graham Center and many other national collaborators, the ABFM has led studies of the effectiveness of board certification and changes in the scope and organization of the practices of family physicians. In the last year, highlights have included ongoing development of quality metrics that capture better the contributions of Family Medicine to health, the association of burnout among family physicians with employment and more narrow scope of practice, and the outcomes of residency programs across the country. A large proportion of publications by ABFM staff are co-authored by medical students, residents or senior fellows.

    In July, 2018, ABFM launched the Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care in Washington, DC, led by Executive Director Bob Philips, MD MSPH. ABFM believes that health care in the US is in the midst of transformational change, and that professional self-regulation and the public trust are at risk. The ABFM has long worked at the forefront of professional standard setting, self-regulation and social accountability through rigorous professional standards and support of the health of the public. ABFM now wishes to provide focus and new emphasis on this work. In addition to consolidating the ABFM's current work in Metrics that Matter, the PRIME registry, and the PHATE tool, the new Center will also educate opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about the potential of professional self-regulation and standards for improving the health of the public. The Center welcomes collaboration with all others interested in professionalism and value in health care, including other specialty boards, other professions and other organizations interested in working together on this common ground.

    ABFM's research enterprise is thus a key driver of its future activity, both in terms of support of its Diplomates and its service to the discipline and the profession. The Senior Vice President for Research and Policy will play a major role in its ongoing development. Working closely with both the Lexington research team and the Center in Washington, this new leader will develop and implement the strategy for further development of research in ABFM. This individual will build the infrastructure necessary for extramural funding of research, and use both ABFM Foundation and extramural funding to develop ABFM's research portfolio. Key roles will include supporting development of the Lexington research team and cultivating research and policy partners from universities, research institutes, government and payers. He/She will lead the development of the PRIME registry, support the development, testing and implementation of meaningful measures, and participate in developing a strategy to engage with clinically integrated systems. Finally, in keeping with ABFM's commitment to developing leadership for discipline, the SVP will work with existing program leadership to coordinate the growth and development of ABFM's career and leadership development activities.

    We anticipate that the SVP will play a personal role in convening national initiatives, cultivating research and policy partners, conducting both intramurally and extramurally funded research, and supporting medical students, residents and senior fellows in their research. The SVP will also play a senior executive role in the ABFM, attending all executive meetings, engaging with the ABFM Board of Directors and speaking for ABFM ex officio.

    Application Process

    The successful candidate will have substantial leadership experience in research and policy, with an excellent track record in extramural research and leadership at the national level. He/She will have excellent skills in oral and written communication, developing colleagues and cultivating partnerships within Family Medicine and across other specialties and professions. Living in Washington DC is necessary, with substantial national travel necessary. Clinical practice desirable. Start date as soon as possible, but flexible. Full ABFM benefits; salary dependent on experience and is negotiable.

    Letters of interest and curriculum vitae are due by January 15, 2019; please submit applications to Ms. Rempfer. Finalists will be asked to interview with Lexington and Washington staff and to present their work.

    Short descriptions of the activities of the Board and the current research portfolio are available for review. For further information, please contact Warren Newton, MD MPH, President and CEO of ABFM.

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