ABMS names AMA’s Richard Hawkins as new president

Richard Hawkins, MD, has been selected as the new president and CEO of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and will succeed Lois Margaret Nora, MD, MBA, when her five-year tenure in the position ends in December.

“We are excited to have Dr. Hawkins join ABMS and serve as the new leader of the Boards Community,” John Moorhead, MD, ABMS chairman, said in a statement. “We selected Dr. Hawkins based on his outstanding qualifications, his vision for board certification, and his longstanding commitment to professional self-regulation. We believe Dr. Hawkins has the leadership expertise and the passion to lead the ABMS Boards Community.”

Hawkins had previously worked for ABMS as senior vice president of professional and scientific affairs. His resume also includes stints with the National Board of Medical Examiners and various academic appointments with the Naval Medical Corps.

Since 2012, he’s worked for the American Medical Association as its vice president of medical education outcomes. In that role he has led the AMA’s initiatives to change medical school curriculums with a particular focus on teaching new physicians about the principles of value-based care and health systems while they’re in school rather than relying on on-the-job training.

At ABMS, he’ll be leading another shift as the group begins an initiative to re-evaluate the continuing board certification process for physicians. Along with other groups, including the AMA, AMBS will find ways to revamp certification so it’s “meaningful, relevant and of value,” beginning with a national survey to identify the current system’s shortcomings.

Maintenance of certification and board exams have been identified as one way to reduce administrative burden for family physicians. Boards represented by ABMS have criticized for making the bulk of their revenue from these exams, even though administering them accounts for only 20 percent of their annual expenses.

“I am honored to be selected to lead this extraordinary organization and the transformation of continuing certification,” Hawkins said. “I look forward to working with the ABMS Boards Community, physicians and the professional community to enhance the value of Board Certification and continuing certification to physicians and the public.”