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What is a Bariatrician

by | Mar 31, 2018 | General

I am frequently asked what is a bariatrician? Are they a bariatric surgeon or bariatric physician? Well the answer is they can be both. Most bariatricians specialize in bariatric or obesity medicine, but there are a few bariatric surgeons that are also certified in bariatric medicine which is a physician practicing bariatrics, the field of medicine concerned with weight loss. Also called a bariatric physician. The terms bariatrician and bariatric physician are used interchangeably.

Bariatricians are certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Many bariatricians are members of Obesity Medicine Association.

Bariatric physicians, also known as bariatricians, specialize in the medical treatment of obesity and related disorders. Bariatricians are often confused with bariatric surgeons who perform weight-loss surgeries. Many bariatricians incorporate weight management services into an existing family, internal medicine or OB-GYN practice. We are beginning to see more bariatriicans working in bariatric surgery practices. The bariatricans are working beside bariatric surgeons to provide comprehensive weight management treatment.

Medical Weight Management

A medically supervised weight-loss treatment program generally consists of changes in diet, physical activity levels and behavioral therapy. Treatment involves a two-step process of assessment and management. Assessment includes determining a patient’s degree of obesity and overall health status. Management involves weight-loss, maintenance of body weight and measures to control other risk factor.

What to Expect during Your First Visit to a Bariatrician

  • Physicians perform an initial patient work-up to determine treatment based on each patient’s history, physical examination, laboratory work and electrocardiogram. Co-morbidities are assessed and physicians determine if patients are ready and motivated to lose weight.
  • Dietary status, weight history and history of mental status are recorded.
  • Height, weight and waist circumference measurements are recorded. These measurements help determine body mass index. Additional exams of the head, neck, thyroid, heart, lungs, abdomen and extremities may be performed.
  • Laboratory testing usually includes electrocardiogram, thyroid function and other body composition testing.

Bariatricians provide counseling and follow-up on proper eating habits, exercise, behavior modification and other aspects of weight-loss. They will recommend a diet and set physical activity goals which must be recorded regularly throughout the duration of treatment.

Bariatricans will review the potential benefits and risks of any medications that may be used during treatment. In addition to medical journals and ABOM guidelines, bariatricians rely on their education, training and experience.
Bariatricians develop an individual weight-loss maintenance program for each patient after weight-loss goals are achieved.

ESA Medical Resources specializes in the recruitment and placement of bariatric professionals. Frequently medical facilities rely on us to recruit bariatricians for their practice. We also offer a bariatric job board that many use to post their bariatrician opportunities. Contact Liz Smith at for additional information.