ABD’s 2023 Year in Review Now Available

By Randall K. Roenigk, MD*

I am pleased to share with you the ABD’s Year in Review 2023, providing details about progress we have made in accomplishing the ABD’s strategic plan, which was announced last January.

This report explains our initiatives, and how they benefit you, your practice, and your patients. While the ABD exists to serve the public, we accomplish that purpose by supporting your efforts to attain and maintain high standards of education, training, knowledge, and skills essential for providing superior specialized care to patients with cutaneous diseases.


When we accepted our roles in 2021, your Executive Team promised transparency about ABD operations. We also promised to provide opportunities for you to be more engaged with ABD leadership so that together, we can make certification a more valuable resource for you and your patients. We are gratified by the level of engagement from so many of you in responding to surveys and offering feedback.

We attained and have maintained the highest level of financial transparency available through GuideStar (now Candid), the leading source of information on U.S. non-profit organizations.

ABD operations are supported by exam fees and by your annual fees. As we reported in our April 18 Perspective, “What You Get For Your Annual Fees,” the ABD has not raised your $150 fee since it was initiated in 2006, but the value you get for your money has increased with new initiatives like CertLink and our own Focused Practice Improvement (fPI) library.


We are committed to making all certification activities relevant to your practice. We pay attention to the aggregate comments we receive from your CertLink feedback and strive to follow your suggestions. Also, we work with several dermatology professional organizations to help identify gaps in training and continuing education that ABD activities could help address.

We have expanded our dermatologist search tool to help you tell patients where your practice is located and in what areas you specialize. (If you haven’t added your public profile details, what are you waiting for?)


I would like to take this opportunity to thank a couple of people who left the ABD in 2023.

In June, Lela A. Lee, MD, retired after more than three decades of service to the ABD. Throughout her career, Dr. Lee volunteered in nearly every aspect of certification, from item writing, to communications, to exam development.

I would also like to thank Bruce Bartels, MBA, who served as the public member on the ABD Board of Directors from 2014 through 2023. Bruce helped us remember to always consider the impact of our policies on patients. His successor, Aileen Shinaman, JD, already is providing similar guidance. 

And importantly, I would like to thank our terrific staff. The ABD employs seven people to work with all 15,000+ of us certified dermatologists and 1,700 or so trainees who take BASIC, CORE, and/or APPLIED certifying exams each year. They are a knowledgeable, empathetic group who will guide us through any individual questions we have. Please don’t hesitate to contact them or anyone on the Executive team at Communications@abderm.org.


*About the Author

Dr. Roenigk is the Executive Director of the American Board of Dermatology. In addition, he is a consultant (full-time faculty) and former chair of the Department of Dermatology and Division of Dermatologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. A professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, he also holds the Robert H. Kieckhefer Professorship in Dermatology at the Mayo Foundation.