A Broad Network Dr. David G. Nichols, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Board of Pediatrics

A Broad Network

Building Quality Teams, Expanding Influence

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), founded in 1933 and based in Chapel Hill, N.C., is one of the largest certifying boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABP's certificate is recognized around the world as assurance of physician competence and commitment to lifelong improvement in the profession.

In 2011, as the 20-year tenure of President Dr. James A. Stockman came to a close, the ABP retained IM to assist in the search for his successor. IM's experience searching for candidates to fill other positions within the pediatric community, including deans and department chairs at universities and leaders of medical centers and community healthcare facilities, helped the team develop a detailed understanding of the challenges and a broad recruiting platform from the outset.

Under Dr. Stockman's leadership, the ABP worked with and influenced other ABMS certifying boards to find ways to advance important changes in health care that could improve outcomes for patients. In particular, the ABP expanded its focus on quality and clinical effectiveness in pediatrics by developing innovative systems and initiatives in physician education, training, and evaluation.

Protecting a legacy of innovation

"Dr. Stockman is revered in the field, and had been credited-deservedly-with many important advances at the ABP," remembers IM partner, John Muckle. For example, he was instrumental in enhancing continuous learning and self-assessment aspects of the ABMS maintenance of certification process, elements of which have been adopted by other ABMS member boards.

With rapid advances in health care and technology, board certification must continually be reviewed and adapted to accommodate changes. Finding a leader who could enforce the improved standards, continuous learning processes, and periodic testing - while remaining sensitive to critics and addressing operational challenges-was crucial to protecting the ABP's quality-focused mission.

Cross-Academy Experience Generates Broader Understanding, Recruitment Platforms

Muckle points to IM's previous work in pediatrics at the University of California, Davis as one source of IM's fluency in the issues transforming the medical field. "We understand the context these organizations are working in. And our relationships with clients across the academy leads to better scoping, broader networks, and, in the end, more effective searches."

In July 2012, the ABP selected Dr. David G. Nichols, MD, MBA, as its new President and CEO. His 30-year association with the ABP, and his 28-year career in academic medicine, most recently as Vice Dean for Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as his pediatric residencies at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and contributions to pediatric education through numerous articles and influential texts, exceeded the goals of the search committee.

Successful Searches Across the Network

The ABP also asked IM to identify a key member of Dr. Nichols' senior team, Dr. Virginia A. Moyer, former Chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, who joined the ABP as the Vice President for Maintenance of Certification and Quality.

In 2012, IM continued its work with medical certifying boards, including a successful presidential search for the American Board of Internal Medicine, the largest medical certifying board in the world.

IM's work in pediatrics subsequently informed the searches for the Chair of Pediatrics of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which were completed between late 2012 and early 2013.