Interested in establishing an Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program?

This checklist is for new potential fellowship Program Directors. The purpose is to assist future Program Directors in setting up an Obesity Medicine Fellowship program that is comprehensive and has a high likelihood of success and sustainability over the long-term. The below bullet points are not requirements, but may be helpful in navigating the process of starting a new program.


  • Program Director is an American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) Diplomate
  • Other core faculty have been identified and include at least one other physician with a specialized expertise in obesity medicine
  • Faculty for elective rotations have been identified, such as sleep specialists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, psychologists, dietitians, etc.
  • Identify a contact from your institution’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) office to help you determine the documents required to start a new fellowship program in obesity medicine
  • Identify a specialty sponsor or “home” for the Obesity Medicine fellowship program. Which section or division will the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program be housed under? Programs are ideally housed in Departments of General Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, but others may work as well. Oversight of obesity medicine fellowships should be provided locally by the home institution’s Department of Medicine education office and GME committee.
  • Is there a person assigned to complete administrative responsibilities for the fellowship program?
  • How will you recruit fellows? What are the requirements to apply for your program?

Financial Planning

  • Create a 5-year expense and revenue budget.
  • Will the fellow (s) be provided with a full-time salary commensurate with their level of training (example, PGY4)?
  • Will the fellow (s) be provided with benefits, CME reimbursement, etc.?
  • Create a 5-year sustainability plan describing resources for fellows, faculty, and administration.
  • Click here for information on how to fund a fellowship program.

Program Structure

  • Outline your curriculum. Core elements should include lifestyle based, medical, surgical, pediatric, and adult obesity therapy; didactic curriculum on the science and clinical aspects of obesity. Is there a good balance of time between clinical experience with time spent in journal clubs, lectures, and other educational activities?
  • Outline clinical experiences. What is the flow of rotations and are they appropriately graded in skill level, challenge, and responsibility as the fellow progresses through the program?
  • Identify faculty to fulfill clinical rotations and curricular experiences
  • Identify faculty to guide research or publishing opportunities, if included in your program
  • Evaluate your current patient volume and case mix. Determine if it is adequate to support the necessary fellowship training experiences.
  • Create an evaluation plan for fellows and faculty
  • How will fellows be able to disclose concerns or complaints?