Richard Lindquist, MD, an American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) Diplomate, answers questions regarding the importance of an obesity medicine physician.
What unique skill set can the obesity medicine physician bring to the bariatric surgical setting?
The obesity medicine physician in the surgical setting complements the surgical team and brings a medical perspective to the continuum of care. Early in the surgical process, they can provide medically supervised weight management and can help identify and manage preoperative risks. Next, they can support the decision making pre-surgically, optimize surgical risks, and support the surgical team as surgery becomes imminent. Ultimately, every surgical patient becomes a medical patient in follow up, and the obesity medicine physician can provide the follow up essential to long term quality outcomes.
What impact can the obesity medicine physician have on patient outcomes?
By helping the patient be prepared preoperatively, and by helping manage and minimize risks, the patient can be as ready as possible for a successful outcome. As an embedded part of the care team, the obesity medicine specialist helps identify any problems early in the post-operative time frame, and can help manage problems and provide ongoing, practical support to the patient, which the primary care physician may not be able to provide. The role can be considered similar to a cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon, both are important for the highest quality care and outcome for the patient.
Have you had the experience of working with a bariatric surgeon?
I have had the benefit of working with GREAT bariatric surgeons on a full-time basis for the past eight years. The shared values of supporting the patient and each other along the care continuum has been incredibly valuable. There have been zero downsides to our collaboration.
What is the value of working with an ABOM Diplomate specifically?
The ABOM Diplomate status indicates someone who is dedicated to staying on top of the most current knowledge and to providing the best quality patient care possible. ABOM diplomate physicians value the ABOM status as a springboard to continuing to learn and share best practices. We see more and more surgeons recognizing the value of the ABOM process and taking the exam as well. This recognizes the value of the obesity medicine content and raises the bar in understanding the value added of the obesity medicine physician. The more we understand the contributions of our complementary fields, surgery and medicine, the more complete the care of our patients will be.
Dr. Richard Lindquist is a board-certified obesity medicine and family medicine physician who graduated from the University of Washington and completed his residency at Bayfront Medical Center in Florida. Dr. Lindquist was most recently Medical Director of Swedish Weight Loss Services in Seattle where he coordinated Medically Supervised Weight Loss programs for non-surgical and surgical patients and provided direct patient care to overweight and obese patients. He is currently in private practice, and is a consultant to hospitals and health care systems to assist with planning and development of medical weight loss programs, support bariatric surgery programs and assist in the education of practitioners in care of patients with obesity.
Dr. Lindquist is actively involved in state and national organizations and has earned numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the Obesity Medicine Association’s “Bariatrician of the Year” (2013) for his contributions in advancing the field of bariatric medicine and the Society. He also earned the 2015 Steelman-Seim Educator Award for Excellence in Academics for advancing the cause of health care through education and teaching.
Dr. Lindquist is a Board member of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, a Trustee for the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery for the state of Washington, an Obesity Treatment Foundation Trustee, and the WA State Representative of the Obesity Society for “Access to Care.”