The ABIM Foundation was created by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 1989. Through an extensive strategic planning process, the ABIM Board of Directors established a separate Board of Trustees in 1999 to govern the Foundation.
As an operating charity, we develop and implement projects in support of our mission to advance the core values of medical professionalism as a force to improve the quality of health care. One of our most significant contributions has been the publication of Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter in 2002. Our past and present initiatives focus on promoting the principles and commitments outlined in this seminal document.
Since 2010, our work has focused primarily on advancing medical professionalism in the area of stewardship of health care resources. Programs supporting this work include the Choosing Wisely® campaign, the Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely® Challenge, and the Putting Stewardship into Medical Education and Training grant program.
Trust has been essential to that work, including trust between clinicians and patients, between clinicians and systems, and between specialty societies and their members. We have now launched a new initiative — Building Trust— focused exclusively on improving trusting relationships within the health care system.
Some of Our Prior Initiatives
Enhancing Primary Care (2011): The Foundation funded research seeking to address shortages in the number of physicians choosing to focus in primary care, as well as to explore solutions to the high level of burnout experienced by those in the field. To begin finding solutions to these challenges and revitalize primary care, a team of researchers visited 23 high-performing practices across the United States seeking innovations that could help restore joy in practice. The team’s research culminated in “In Search of Joy in Practice: A Report of 23 High-Functioning Primary Care Practices,” published in Annals of Family Medicine. Learn more about this work.
Improving Care Transitions (2008): The Stepping Up to the Plate alliance sought to improve care transitions between hospitals and primary care physicians and reduce readmissions. The alliance produced a set of principles and standards that were endorsed by 10 societies and served as the basis for new principles for four others. The Foundation and others persuaded and sponsored the American Medical Association’s Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement to convene a working group to develop measures based on these standards, four of which were endorsed by the National Quality Forum. In 2011, we provided funding to the American College of Physicians to develop a care transitions module that became part of its Medical Home Builder.
Addressing Conflicts of Interest (2007): Through a partnership with the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, we explored conflict of interest policies governing relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Results of this work were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and led the Association of American Medical Colleges to approve recommendations on new policies for medical schools and research institutions. We were among a group of organizations that provided funding to create the module “Managing Conflicts of Interest in Interactions with the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries: A CME and MOC Program for Practitioners” as part of the American College of Physicians High Value Care curriculum.
Additional Funding Opportunities
The ABIM Foundation is not primarily a grant-making organization; however, we do provide funding to other organizations and projects when they are in alignment with our mission. For example, we funded the Drexel University College of Medicine to create educational modules based on society Choosing Wisely recommendations to enhance physician communications skills to help their patients avoid unnecessary care.
In addition, we support key research projects and initiatives of ABIM that have been identified as opportunities to accelerate improvements in its programs.