About the Program

Obesity Management in Primary Care Certificate Program

Practice Management & Leadership Training for PAs and NPs

Registration Is Closed!

The Obesity Management in Primary Care Certificate Program is officially full for the 2020-2021 cycle. If you’d like to be considered for the next cycle of this program, please fill out the Interest Form.


This unique online professional certificate program is open to PAs and NPs who work in primary care and want to develop the skills required to establish obesity management within a primary care practice.

This program will help you develop your skills and knowledge so you can more effectively implement obesity management best practices and lead practice transformation. By engaging in this unique professional certificate program, you will interact with expert faculty, coaches, and peers, and work together to overcome barriers and sustain achievable outcomes, distinguishing you as a leader in your profession!

Enrollment into this program is limited to 120 registrants on a first-come, first-served basis and requires a 14-month time commitment (September 2020 to November 2021). We anticipate that participants will spend between 4-5 hours a month completing various activities, earning up to 34 CME/CE credit hours.

If you’re serious about advancing your career and building a sustainable obesity management program in your practice, this program is for you! Know of a colleague who might be interested? Share the overview with them!

Prerequisites for Participation

Prerequisites for Participation

To prepare for this intensive course, participants are encouraged, but not required, to complete AAPA’s Obesity Leadership Edge 7-module curriculum found in Learning Central or AANP’s Primary Care Obesity Management (Modules 1-7).

This program is appropriate for PAs or NPs who:

    • Work in Primary Care
    • Have direct patient care with patients with obesity for at least 16 hours a week
    • Have English proficiency; written and verbal
    • Work in an outpatient setting




Upon acceptance into the program, all participants will be required to complete an on-demand homework assignment in September 2020. This will ensure everyone starts this program with the basic knowledge required to succeed.

The prerequisite training material will help you enhance your procedural knowledge in the following areas:

  • Obesity screening and assessment
  • Guidelines in obesity management
  • Assessing patients’ readiness
  • Engaging patients in shared decision-making and developing treatment plans that include considerations such as lifestyle and nutrition changes and taking pharmacotherapies
  • Emerging treatment options and anti-obesity medications
  • Patient counseling and motivational interviewing techniques
  • Bariatric surgery and weight loss devices
  • Implementing practice changes to support obesity management in primary care
Program Structure & Cost

Program Structure & Cost

Designed for busy clinicians working in primary care, participants will engage in active and passive learning at a time that is most convenient for them.

In addition to receiving a professional certificate from TOS, participants can earn up to 34 CME/CE credit hours by participating in the following activities (see below). Though CME/CE credits will be awarded upon completion of each activity, participants’ final professional certificate will be processed by The Obesity Society at the end of the program. Participants must complete all activities to receive this certificate.

  • A comprehensive practice assessment (at beginning and completion of program)
  • Nine clinical webinars (60-90 minutes each)
  • Nine coaching sessions (60 minutes each)
  • A community learning portal where participants will engage with expert faculty and peers discussing obesity management best practices
  • Two to three practice improvement assignments grounded in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) quality framework that focuses on establishing a sustainable obesity management practice in your clinic (30 hours)
  • An expert podcast with key takeaways for primary care providers from TOS’ Obesity Week annual conference (1-1.5 hours)
  • A half-day CME/CE workshop at AAPA Conference 2021 in Philadelphia between May 22-26, 2021. This is currently planned to be both a live and an online event. (4-5 hours)
  • A robust online resource center with downloadable educational tools for providers, staff, and patients

Credit Hours by Type of Activity

Activity Credits per Activity # of Activities Total Credits
Clinical Webinars 1.5 9 13.5
Assignment #1
4 1 4
Baseline and Follow-up Assessments 1.0 2 2
Practice Improvement Assignments and Coaching Webinars 10 1 10
AAPA Workshop 3 1 3
TOS Obesity Week Podcast 1.5 1 1.5

Program Cost

This 14-month professional development and certificate program with practice-based coaching costs just $299 per person.

The partners analyzed tuition rates of other comparable certificate programs, finding ranges from $450 to nearly $6,000. AAPA, TOS, and ILP are able to extend discounted pricing of this program to PAs and NPs because of the independent medical educational grant support received from Novo Nordisk.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there tuition considering that AAPA has received grant funding?

Although AAPA has received independent educational grant funding from Novo Nordisk, the grant does not cover the full cost of the program. The grant allows us to offer the program at just $299 per person. We have benchmarked this certificate program to other programs where tuition has ranged from $450 to nearly $6,000.

What is the difference between this certificate program and the one offered by the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA)?

The previous iteration of this certificate program was conducted in collaboration with OMA. This version of the program is conducted in collaboration with The Obesity Society. While our program is designed to assist PAs and NPs implement programs to address the needs of patients who suffer from obesity within the context of a primary care practice, the OMA program is designed for PAs and NPs who are already involved in providing obesity management and want to demonstrate advanced knowledge.

There are other important differences in how the programs are designed. This certificate program involves interacting with other learners, instructors, guest speakers, and practice coaches over a 14-month period. It also includes some projects that are designed to help participants implement what they learn into practice and evaluate the results with the support of a coach. Participation might feel a little more like being in a graduate school class than a typical continuing education course.

By contrast, the OMA certificate, the NP/PA Certificate of Advanced Education, is at the learner’s own pace. While there are a set number of credits that must be completed, they can be accomplished within 36 months. Clinicians considering our program may want to view the OMA program as the next step should they want to specialize in obesity medicine.

What is the difference between a certificate program and certification?

A certificate program is designed to give learners a level of mastery over a defined area of knowledge or practice and provide recognition for the achievement. Certificate programs do not confer a degree or an official certification.

Certification is a process by which learners, who have met specific training requirements, demonstrate their knowledge, usually by taking a secure, proctored exam.

At the moment, the only certification related to obesity available is an interprofessional certification offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. However, this certification does not include the medical management of obesity, which is at the heart of the role that PAs and NPs play in treating patients with obesity.

What will participating in the program be like? Will it be online?

This certificate program offers a hybrid learning experience, which means there are both online and in-person activities. The majority of activities are online, and the in-person portion is optional. The online activities include the following:

  • Nine clinically oriented webinars led by content experts affiliated with The Obesity Society (TOS). These nine webinars will be devoted to various obesity-related topics and will be sequenced to maximize translation to practice.
  • Nine (9) web conferences with the members of your coaching group led by your PA or NP practice coach. Here you will explore the practical implications of what you learned in the clinical webinars. These coaching web conferences will be interactive and participatory. You will discuss lessons learned, dialogue with coaches and peers, and learn how to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills to practice.
  • An online discussion forum where you can interact and network with peers (other PAs and NPs in PC) to share information and resources in a closed and secure online community.
  • Engagement in small, quality improvement projects to assist you in implementing new obesity management practices in your clinic. You’ll share results with your peers and coaches in order to evaluate and refine your approach.

We encourage learners to participate in live clinical webinars. However, we understand that we all have competing priorities, so these webinars will be recorded for participants to review on-demand at a later time.

The only in-person activity that is planned is a workshop at AAPA Conference 2021 in Philadelphia. Here, participants will meet expert faculty, their practice coaches, and peers, engage in a workshop, and present their obesity management practice improvement work. All participants will be invited to a social networking reception. While we encourage live attendance, this is optional, and virtual alternatives will be available.

Approximately how many hours per month do you anticipate it will take to complete the assignments?

The program is designed to take place over 14 months, with only 12 months of actual participant engagement in CME/CE activities and assignments. With that said, we expect participants may average between 4 to 5 hours per month participating in webinars and completing assignments. However, the core design of the program is to empower participants to apply lessons learned to practice each and every day.

About the Collaborators

About the Collaborators

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of PAs is the national professional society for PAs. It represents a profession of more than 140,000 PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the uniformed services.

AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. We work to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence, and recognition of PAs. We also enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare.

For this program, AAPA will be responsible for global project leadership, provide accreditation, and oversee outcomes and compliance standards.

Founded in 1982, The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society focused on obesity science, treatment, and prevention.

Our approximately 2,800 members worldwide are people like you, ranging from early career to established members of the field, including:

  • Basic and clinical researchers
  • Clinicians and care providers
  • Educators
  • Early career investigators
  • Students

OUR VISION: Solving the challenges of obesity through deeper understanding and coordinated action.

OUR MISSION: To promote innovative research, effective and accessible care, and public health initiatives that will reduce the personal and societal burden of obesity.

OUR VISION: Rigorous science, highest professional standards, and strength through diversity.

The Obesity Society, its members and staff pledge to uphold:

  • Compassion for the lives and situations of those living with obesity.
  • Responsibility for advocacy, treatment and investigation, all working toward a cure for obesity.
  • Respect for each other and all who are touched by obesity.
  • Progress for furthering knowledge about obesity using appropriate scientific standards.
  • Mentorship for helping, teaching and supporting our colleagues.
  • Highest Ethical Standards for all our actions, writings, programs, and services.

Over the last decade, Integrated Learning Partners (ILP) has successfully pioneered innovative performance improvement, organizational development, and leadership training programs for healthcare professionals that have significantly improved clinical and professional competencies, enhanced provider-patient relationships, and optimized patient health outcomes.

Our experienced consultants work side-by-side with health systems and medical association leaders, providers, staff, patients, and caregivers to design and implement evidence-based methods with unconventional approaches to improve clinical care, treatment decision-making, and patient engagement. We help healthcare organizations build internal capabilities to overcome barriers and implement sustainable practice changes that strengthen the value of services and enhance the quality of care that they provide to their patients as well as patient health outcomes.

For this project, ILP will be responsible for working with AAPA and TOS to design another award-winning professional certificate program specifically developed for PAs and NPs working in primary care who want to improve their skills and competencies in obesity management. ILP will co-lead the project with AAPA, and our PA and NP practice coaches will be responsible for working directly with you, supporting you through a continuous quality improvement (CQI) process designed to initiate meaningful and sustainable practice transformation in the area of obesity management.

Supported by an independent medical educational grant from Novo Nordisk.