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A Word from Our Chair

Hinel, Erich OD croppedWhat Are Your Professional Goals for 2018?

The start of a new year brings an opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments and to set your sights on future achievements.  It is still not too late to define your professional goals for 2018.  It can be a daunting task, but here’s how the ABO can help…

Commit Yourself to Life Long Learning:

ABO can help you reinforce your current knowledge and stay up to date through focused learning and self-assessment.  In conjunction with Optocase, we are continuing to expand our library of self-assessment modules which have been developed by some of the brightest minds in optometry and ophthalmology.  Our popular quarterly webinar series provides our diplomates with the chance to learn about more contemporary topics in eye care such as Office-based Surgical Procedures for the Optometric Physician.  ABO Diplomates can also qualify for a discount on continuing education through CEWire.

Market Yourself as an Expert:

You are part of an elite group.  Only about 10% of all practicing optometrists in the United States have undergone the rigorous requirements and examination necessary to become board certified.  In 2010, the American Board of Medical Specialties conducted a survey that found 95% of Americans thought it was important that their physician be board certified.  The ABO can help you market your credential to current and prospective patients.  Our database links with both Healthgrades.com and Medicare’s Physician Compare to list you as a board-certified doctor.  In addition, diplomates can add the ABO logo to business cards, letterheads, and other marketing materials.

Master the Merit-Based Incentive Program:

Navigating Medicare’s Merit Based Incentive Program (MIPS) is no easy task.   Luckily, if you plan to attest in 2018, the American Optometric Association has many helpful resources available to its members. Participation in ABO’s Maintenance of Certification program and completion of the STEPS Forward Performance Practice Module can be counted toward MIPS credit.

As an organization, one of ABO’s goals this year is for the successful development of our continued assessment program which will replace our 10-year recertification exam.  While details of the program are currently under development, it will replace the costly, lengthy, and high stakes examination administered at a testing center with shorter, topic-specific mini-assessments, which can be taken online from a personal computer at your convenience.  This new initiative will help board certification evolve into a more meaningful, flexible, and less costly process.

Best wishes,
Erich Hinel, OD, FAAO
Chair, American Board of Optometry