Core Content in Phlebology A Call for Stakeholder Comments

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Phlebology (ABPh), I would like to invite all individual stakeholders to comment on our “Core Content in Phlebology” draft.

The 45-day comment period began on January 16, 2012, and will close at 5:00 PM CDT on February 29, 2012. All comments are welcome and will be compiled for consideration. If you have questions, please email Christopher Freed, Executive Director, at [email protected].


Significant innovations and major new concepts in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disorders have come from physicians and surgeons with a variety of specialty backgrounds. This contributes to the significant and expanding interest in phlebology. However, at present there is no standardized venous training program in the US, and the level of specialty training in venous disease is very diverse and often inadequate across existing training programs in all specialties.

Curriculum Task Force

In a major effort involving representatives from societies around the country and the world, the ABPh convened a Curriculum Task Force in 2011 with the charge of standardizing training in phlebology. The Task Force is comprised of 24 leaders in venous disease from phlebology, vascular surgery, interventional radiology, vascular medicine and dermatology. The charge was to use a collaborative approach to develop a consensus comprehensive curriculum in phlebology. Ultimately, ABPh seeks to improve patient outcomes on a national and international scale, but to achieve this, formal training standards in venous disease must be established.

Core Content in Phlebology

As the first step towards achieving these goals, a draft of the “Core Content in Phlebology” was written by the multispecialty based Curriculum Task Force, outlining the areas of knowledge and competency considered essential for its practice. Seventy “Advisors,” key leaders from various disciplines, have been invited to critique the Core Content draft.

The Core Content document will provide the framework for establishing training requirements. Importantly, it forms the basis for professional discussion of these standards and their impact on specialty and subspecialty training.

Letter of Support from the AMA

We have received a letter from the AMA in support of our efforts. Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, President-elect of the AMA, stated in a letter dated October 3, 2011, “I wanted to send this note of congratulations, as both a physician and President-elect of the AMA, to you and the leadership of the American Board of Phlebology. I am impressed with the effort to establish a core content document in venous disease. Efforts to increase professional standards in medicine are something both the AMA and I vigorously support… I wish you all the best in the pursuit of your goal - the elevation of professional standards of care for venous disease patients.”

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

The ABPh is seriously evaluating the possibility of ABMS recognition. The ABMS has been critical toward the development of modern medicine. The ABMS states, “The development of new medical specialties has been an essential feature of the growth of modern scientific medicine.” While a core of basic knowledge is central to each medical specialty, this core changes with new technology and time. Subspecialties expand the medical focus of different areas within the core specialty. This has led to the development of more than 150 subspecialty certificates being granted by ABMS Member Boards. A number of these subspecialties are under more than one primary specialty board.

Outcomes Sought from the Core Content Effort

The outcomes we seek are to:
1) Outline the knowledge necessary to identify and manage venous, arteriovenous, and venolymphatic conditions and their sequelae;
2) Improve the standards, consistency and dependability of training across all the different specialties that treat venous disease; and
3) Provide a benchmark against which to assess the knowledge of practitioners of venous medicine and surgery.

The Key Goal Is to Improve Patient Care

We believe development of the “Core Content in Phlebology” will pave the way to improve educational standards and to standardize comprehensive training in venous disease. These improvements are critical to achieving our goal of improving patient care.

We Solicit Your Comments

We solicit your comments and suggestions as a stakeholder in the field of venous disease. We hope you will agree to participate, and we assure you we will value your comments and suggestions as we seek to finalize this document. You can access the comments process via the ABPh website. Please email me ([email protected]) or Christopher Freed ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

A background statement on the ABPh is below.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Steven E. Zimmet, MD
President, American Board of Phlebology

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