For the past year, the ABPh Board of Directors has been considering the possibility of changing the name of our organization to address several ongoing practical issues we have encountered with the word “phlebology” in our name. One long-standing issue-is that the word “phlebology” is not well known, either to the lay public or to the medical community at large. A secondary issue-is that for a variety of historical reasons, the word “phlebology” evokes a negative response from several leaders and groups with whom we wish to work in close collaboration to achieve our shared goals.
The executive committee, as well as the board as a whole, has become convinced of the benefits of changing our name to include terms that will more clearly convey the purpose of our organization and the focus of our diplomates. We believe this will help improve communication and reduce confusion when engaging with the lay public, other physicians, health plans, and a variety of governmental and nongovernmental agencies.
We also believe there are some physicians currently treating veins who would be more likely to participate with a board that recognizes specialists in venous and lymphatic disease, where they would not as likely participate with a board of phlebology. This would be a very positive development because our mission depends on developing a broad base of participation and support among all those who manage patients with venous and lymphatic disease.
There is some reason to believe our diplomates may also benefit from a more recognizably descriptive name when dealing with health plans and other healthcarerelated entities.
Over the past few months, the board has had extensive discussions about this, both internally and externally. These discussions have included various leaders from the American College of Phlebology, the American Venous Forum, the Society of Interventional Radiology, and the Society of Vascular Medicine.
At our board meeting in May 2013, the board unanimously agreed that the potential benefits of such a change outweighed the negatives. We then discussed specific names. Diverse views were presented, discussed and considered. After a lengthy discussion the board unanimously approved to change our name to “The American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM).” We believe this change will allow us to realize the potential benefits noted above. I am hopeful we’ll look back on this as a transformational decision in our history.
The website and all other public branding will be undergoing a transition over the next several months. There will be places where our new name and logo will appear sooner than other places, simply due to timing and resources.
While our name has changed, our mission and goals remain the same: to establish educational standards for training in the field and to uphold the highest standards of knowledge and care through certification in venous and lymphatic medicine. Please send your questions, comments or feedback to: [email protected].