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Robert M. Wachter, MD, Named Chair-Elect of ABIM's Board of Directors


Philadelphia, PA, July 1, 2011 – Robert M. Wachter, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Associate Chairman of UCSF's Department of Medicine, Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center, and Chief of UCSF's 50-faculty Division of Hospital Medicine, has been named Chair-Elect of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Board of Directors. He also serves on ABIM's Executive Committee.

ABIM sets the standards and certifies physicians practicing in internal medicine and its subspecialties who possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide high quality care.

“When I completed my training in internal medicine in 1986, I 'passed the boards' and was considered certified for life. Today, patients expect that their physician will be up-to-date in the latest advances in medicine–everything from new treatments for cancer and heart disease to the importance of checklists and teamwork in preventing medical mistakes,” says Dr. Wachter. “Today's doctors need to demonstrate their ongoing competence and commitment, and the Board is ensuring that they do so in ways that are rigorous, credible and efficient–ways that not only test but also help physicians improve their care. It's an honor to chair this vital organization at such a critical time in health care.”

The Board of Directors guides ABIM's overall mission and direction as it works to improve health care quality. All ABIM Directors participate in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. MOC recognizes that what was standard treatment a decade ago may have changed, and that the public needs a process to know if their physicians have kept up-to-date in their field. Dr. Wachter is a board certified internist.

Dr. Wachter is an expert in patient safety, health care quality and the organization of hospital care; he has published more than 250 articles and six books in these areas. In a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article, he coined the term “hospitalist” and is generally acknowledged as the academic leader of the field. He is a past President of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

“As a leader in patient safety, Robert brings a wealth of knowledge about the competing forces at work in health care today,” says Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine. “His insights and tough questions keep the Board focused on its primary mission–to improve the health care quality of the patients we serve.”

Dr. Wachter is a national leader in the fields of patient safety and health care quality. He is editor of AHRQ WebM&M, an online case-based patient safety journal, and AHRQ Patient Safety Network, the leading federal patient safety portal. The two sites receive over 2 million yearly visits. He has written two books on patient safety, and has discussed the topic on Good Morning America, PBS' NewsHour, CNN's American Morning, and CBS Sunday Morning. His blog, Wachter's World, is one of the nation's most popular health care blogs. Modern Physician magazine has ranked him as one of the 30 most influential physicians in the U.S. several times; his #10 ranking in 2010 made him the most highly ranked academic physician in the country.

For media inquiries, contact Lorie Slass at 215-399-4005 or press@abim.org.

ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.