The ASMBS 2017 Election Season: The Future of Society

| July 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

This column is dedicated to sharing the vast knowledge and opinions of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery leadership—past and present—on relevant topics in the field of bariatric surgery.

This Month: The ASMBS 2017 Election Season: The Future of Society

John M. Morton, MD, MPH, FACS, FASMBS

John M. Morton, MD, MPH, FACS, FASMBS, is Chief of the Section of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California, and Past President, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Funding: No funding was provided in the preparation of this manuscript.

Financial disclosures: The author reports no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article.

Bariatric Times. 2017;14(7):10–12.

Dr. Morton, thank you for taking the time to speak with us about the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) election season. Please begin by describing the structure of the ASMBS leadership, individuals currently serving, and positions that will be open this season. 

Dr. Morton: The ASMBS leadership, comprised of the Executive Council and Integrated Health Executive Council, is structured to represent all disciplines of the ASMBS membership. Executive Council positions are as follows: President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Senior Past President, Secretary/Treasurer, eight Councilpersons-at-Large, and the President and President-elect of ASMBS Integrated Health. Executive Council is further broken down into the Executive Committee of the Executive Council (ECEC), which includes the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, and Secretary/Treasurer. The Integrated Health Executive Council follows a similar structure with IH President, IH President-Elect, IH Secretary, IH Past President, IH Senior Past President, EC Liaison, and five IH Members-at-Large. Individuals serving in these roles work toward achieving the collective goals of improving and growing the society as well as the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery. See the article sidebars for a list of those currently serving. This season there are two Councilpersons-at-Large positions and the Secretary/Treasurer position open on the Executive Council.

What are the eligibility requirements for open ASMBS leadership positions?

Dr. Morton: The qualifications to be considered during the nomination process are as follows: • Councilpersons at Large. Nominees should be actively engaged in the practice of bariatric and metabolic surgery and have effectively served as a chair or co-chair of a Society committee, a co-chair of a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) committee, or as a State Chapter President within the past five years. • Secretary/Treasurer. Nominees should be actively engaged in the practice of bariatric and metabolic surgery and either be currently effectively serving on the Executive council or have effectively served on the Executive Council within the past two years.
It is important to note that the individual serving as Secretary/Treasurer automatically becomes President-Elect for the next election season. This process was instituted in 2015 to 1) keep consistency in filling this role and 2) ensure ample preparation for the President-Elect. As Secretary/Treasurer, you become part of the Executive Committee of the Executive Council, which entails a higher level of involvement, such as participation in weekly group meetings. There is a lot going on in the Executive Council, and it’s important that the individual in line to take over as President be active and up to date. Also, many of the projects the executive committee works on cannot be completed within a year, so you need to be able to pass the baton.

Please explain the process for nominations and elections. What is the timeline?

Dr. Morton: The ASMBS Nominating Committee oversees the nomination process. I serve as Chair alongside Dr. Raul J. Rosenthal, Co-chair, and members Drs. John Baker, Neil Floch, and Ann Rogers. First, the nomination committee identifies eligible candidates for open positions. Those individuals are then notified of their eligibility and asked about their interest in being nominated. Once the committee learns which candidates would like to be nominated, we review the nomination list and narrow it down based on their statements, service to the society, and service to metabolic and bariatric surgery in general. Three top nominees are selected for each position.

The nomination/election process timeline is as follows:

  • July 3–July 23, 2017: Nomination period• July 23, 2017: Nomination period closes
  • July 24-July 28, 2017: All nominees notified of nomination. Acceptance of the nominations is confirmed and nominees are informed of required additional documents.
  • August 7, 2017: All required documents from nominees must be received by ASMBS office to be considered for office.• August 8, 2017: Nominee lists and required documents sent to the Nominating Committee for review.
  • August 22, 2017: The final slate of candidates is released to the Executive Council.• August 23, 2017: Inform the final nominees and request to avoid electioneering. Nominees that were not selected as finalists are notified via phone.
  • August 28, 2017–September 17, 2017: Final slate presented to the membership for voting.• September 18, 2017: Final votes are tallied by ASMBS office and Executive Council is notified.
  • September 25, 2017: Results of election are announced to membership
    We encourage everybody to vote. The future of the society is the future of its leadership, so it’s important that members are engaged in this important process.

How do ASMBS members get more involved with the society and rise to Executive Council eligibility status? As Past President and active member, how do you encourage involvement?

Dr. Morton: Our society is always looking for new talent to emerge and contribute. With more than 25 active committees, there are plenty of opportunities for members to get involved. I believe the first step is serving on a committee. Once you are on a committee, the way to get engaged and move up is to do the work. The number one qualification for Executive Council nomination is service. The more you are able to do to help work toward the collective goal of improving and growing the society, the more mutually beneficial your service. Once on a committee, you can work hard and possibly go on to become a co-chair or chair. That aligns you for Executive Council position nomination. Other opportunities that lead to eligibility status include serving as co-chair of a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) committee or as a State Chapter President, both excellent programs that continue to elevate our field. If a member is considering getting more involved, I strongly encourage them to just get started.

That is great advice. Are there any other updates for our readership?

Dr. Morton: Yes. I’d like to take this opportunity to inform the readership of the 2017 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality and Safety Conference, taking place July 21-24, 2017, in New York, New York. I’m very pleased to share that for the first time this year, the conference will offer discipline- and theme-based tracks focused on the specific needs of various learner groups from ACS Quality Programs, including MBSAQIP. As an MBSAQIP surgeon leader and faculty member of this conference, I am excited to see this already large and phenomenal meeting now offering several sessions devoted to MBSAQIP. Presenters include other MBSAQIP surgeon leaders and members of Executive Council. We will be discussing improving quality in our discipline and address accreditation efforts. It’s a great meeting, and I encourage everyone to attend. Fore more information and to register, visit



Category: Ask the Leadership, Past Articles

Leave a Reply