A Message from the New ABD Executive Director

A Message to Dermatologists from the ABD’s New Executive Director

By: Randall K. Roenigk, MD*

My first official day as Executive Director of the American Board of Dermatology was July 1, 2021. I am excited and humbled to be in this role.

I have been certified by the ABD since 1987 and I am participating in continuing certification activities. Despite more than three decades of teaching and practice, I want -- and need -- to keep learning. For me, certification, both initial and continuing, plays a critical role in helping all of us stay on the cutting edge of our field. It helps us be prepared always to provide excellent patient care.

The objective of the Board is to set standards for knowledge and professionalism. By passing Board assessments and completing other activities, you demonstrate that you meet or exceed those standards, not just when you finish your residency or fellowship, but throughout your career.

I have been the ABD Assistant Executive Director since 2013, working with Dr. Tom Horn and several other outstanding ABD leaders. (Are you aware that executive positions at the ABD are part-time? All ABD executive directors are practicing dermatologists. I am with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.)

Now, as Executive Director, I will work with my Executive Leadership Team to ensure that the structure of certification remains strong. Together, we also plan to build upon the progress the ABD has made over the past decade. I believe changes, such as the staged pathway to initial certification and the longitudinal assessment for continuing certification (CertLink), better align certification with current adult learning strategies. (Future articles will update you on these new programs.)

I want you to know about your board, so we will strive to be more transparent. We also invite you to be more engaged with us, sharing your ideas and perspectives to make certification more valuable to you and your patients. You are the best source of information possible on what will help you grow and succeed in your profession.

To that end, we plan to send you surveys and questionnaires. One of the first questions will be about how you want to hear from us. For example, I am not on social media (and don’t get me started on why!) but I know many of you are. Would it be helpful to hear about things like new activities, events and deadlines via Twitter? Would you share your own continuing certification ideas and successes with your fellow diplomates on the ABD’s Facebook page? Would you read a Blog about various certification issues and updates?

Those of you who are enrolled in CertLink already are hearing from us more often – at least quarterly. We want our communications with you to be useful, and we hope it will be two-way.

I am extremely proud of the work of the ABD. I am even more proud of each of the 15,452 ABD-certified dermatologists and dermatology subspecialists. Through your dedication and professionalism, you improve the health and lives of patients every day. We are here to support you.

Abd Contact Info


*About the Author:

Randall Roenigk, M.D., is a consultant to the Department of Dermatology and Division of Dermatologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He also is a professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and holds the Robert H. Kieckhefer Professorship in Dermatology at the Mayo Foundation.

Before becoming ABD Executive Director on July 1, 2021, he served as ABD Assistant Executive Director (2013-2021).  He also serves as a member of the board of directors and of the executive committee of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the umbrella organization for 24 medical specialty boards.

Visit Dr. Roenigk's profile page to learn more about him.