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July 11, 2018 - Board Director News

How Did They Get There? Insights into Becoming an ABPMR Board Director

Who are the board directors, and what do they do?

Leading the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the board of directors, a diverse group of physicians in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) and its subspecialties.

The 15-member board, in collaboration with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), our specialty societies, and board staff, is shaping the future of physiatry education, certification, and the ongoing demonstration of competency.

Each board director serves as an appointee to ABPMR committees that guide the organization. For example, one set of tasks that falls to the Governance Committee is the recruitment, nomination, orientation, and training of board directors; similarly, directors serving on the Research Committee develop and create academic research for publication.

Bringing diverse perspectives and experience, the board includes physiatrists from private practice and academic medical centers, as well as spanning the breadth of the specialty from pediatric rehabilitation to sports medicine specialists. In their professional roles, some are department chairs and others are program directors. Some directors also serve in roles with related outside organizations. Out of this diversity comes a common purpose: All board directors have a strong belief in the value of board certification and maintenance of certification (MOC).

How did they become directors?

Board directors are often highly service-oriented, all having volunteered for ABPMR in various capacities for extended periods of time. For example, the most recently elected ABPMR board director, Dr Jeffery Johns, served as an ABPMR oral examiner for over a decade, as an item writer for the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine Examination for nine years, as a senior reviewer and associate member of the SCI Medicine Examination Committee.

Before being elected to the board of directors in 2014, Dr Christopher Garrison served as an oral examiner for ABPMR for over a decade and as an associate member of the MOC Committee.

Due to their volunteerism and years of service to ABPMR, board directors have a strong core of institutional knowledge before ever being elected.

Who submits nominations for board directors?

The ABPMR requests submissions for potential new board directors from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R), the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP), and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Each entity may submit up to three nominees for an open board director position.

In selecting new directors, the ABPMR considers nominees’ interests and skills in the context of the projected turnover in existing board directors. The ABPMR seeks nominees who can bring consensus and work well with outside related organizations.

Furthermore, nominees must:

  • be a graduate of an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program
  • hold a current ABPMR certificate in good standing
  • be actively involved in the clinical practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • participate in the ABPMR MOC Program
  • have demonstrated extensive and active involvement in organized PM&R activities
  • have demonstrated extensive and active involvement in ABPMR activities; ideally, long-term experience as an ABPMR item writer, oral examiner, or ABPMR-appointed representatives
  • be willing and able to give top priority to working meetings, various committee meetings and assignments, board conference calls, and related preparatory work between meetings
  • agree to the ABPMR’s Conflict of Interest Policy

Do you want to contribute as a director one day? Get involved!

The ABPMR is always looking for physician volunteers who would like to be involved in upholding the rigorous standards for the field of PM&R and shaping the future of the ABPMR. If you would like to serve as a volunteer, read our News Center article on how to get involved: Get Involved! ABPMR Volunteer Opportunities. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.


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