Alumna Dr. Alison Huffstetler Named American Board of Medical Specialties Visiting Scholar
The one-year ABMS Visiting Scholars program supports early-career physicians and researchers in scholarship and leadership development across disciplines. For Dr. Huffstetler, a clinical researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University, this recognition allows her to move forward with her research project, Family Medicine Certification Status and Quality of Care Provisioned in Virginia.
“At its core, board certification is aimed at keeping physicians accountable and capable of keeping up with innovation and research,” said Dr. Huffstetler. “As a researcher, I find that the rapidity of changing guidelines, evidence, and recommendations can be tough to incorporate into patient care.”
This issue is what inspired her to ask the question of whether the boards are meeting their goals. “If so, we should support the services that board organizations offer,” she said. “But if not, then we, as a community of physicians, should ask board organizations to adapt and meet the needs of our evolving disciplines.”
In Dr. Huffstetler’s role as a clinical researcher, the majority of her time is spent on population health research and working with primary care practices to implement evidence-based changes that help clinicians improve patient care. The ABMS Visiting Scholars program supports Dr. Huffstetler’s current research project by offering opportunities for her to work with self-selected mentors and participate in monthly interactive webinars with national leaders in areas such as medical education, assessment, professionalism, research methodologies and big data.
“This year has provided me with the ability to work with physicians that I would never previously have encountered from both a geographic and specialty perspective,” she said.
Looking back at her time in medical school, Dr. Huffstetler believes her studies contributed to her fierce curiosity in clinical research. “AUC helped me develop this inquisitive nature surrounding medicine and improved my ability to ask thoughtful questions,” she said.