New Webinar Series Announced

The American Board of Optometry is excited to announce a series of webinars for 2017.  For our first webinar, we teamed up with Dr. Richard Castillo, OD, DO on the topic of Office-based Surgical Procedures for the Optometric Physician. Over 250 Diplomates participated in the live webinar which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Dr. Castillo is a graduate of the Oklahoma College of Optometry as well as Oklahoma State University’s Health Science Center where he completed a residency in ophthalmology. A practicing surgeon, he also serves as professor, chief of surgical services, and Assistant Dean for Surgical Training and Education at Northeastern State University’s Oklahoma College of Optometry.

Stay tuned for details on our next webinar, which is planned for late spring/early summer.

Holiday Office Hours

Happy Holidays! ABO wishes all of our Diplomates and Candidates a warm and joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year! As a reminder, our office will be closed from December 23, 2016 through January 3, 2017. If you are having trouble meeting your Stage 1 MOC requirements by December 31, 2016, please contact us after January 3rd to request an extension.

ABO Announces New Exam Format

In the Fall of 2015, the American Board of Optometry conducted a job task analysis (also known as a practice analysis), which is the basis for the development of a content-valid certification examination. In accordance with best practices, the American Board of Optometry conducts a new JTA every 5 years to ensure that the content of its certification examination is current and relevant to the profession.

Analysis of the JTA results led to changes in both the format and content of the board certification examination, which will debut in July 2016. The new content outlines for both the General Practice Core and the Areas of Emphasis are posted on the website. The changes to the exam format are summarized below.

  • All candidates take the 160-question general practice core examination. Four hours are allotted for this section. 140 of the 160 questions are scored items; 20 of the questions are unscored, trial (or pilot) items. Candidates will not know which items are scored and which are not. The use of trial items is a psychometrically-sound practice that improves the validity and reliability of the examination.
  • Candidates also select one Area of Emphasis (AOE): Additional General Practice, Ocular Disease, or Contact Lenses. The AOE section is comprised of 60 questions (50 questions are scored, 10 questions are non-scored trial items), and 1.5 hours are allotted for this section.
  • The decision to reduce the number of Areas of Emphasis was based on the JTA survey results indicating that a preponderance of optometrists consider general practice, contact lenses, or ocular disease as their primary or secondary areas of practice.


Additional information about the American Board of Optometry’s board certification examination and registration for the July 2016 exam may be found on the website here.

American Board of Optometry Board Certification to be included on Physician Compare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Friday, October 30th that American Board of Optometry (ABO) Board Certification will be added to the Physician Compare website on Medicare.gov

The announcement came as part of a final rule issued by CMS updating payment policies, payment rates and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2016. In continuing the move towards public reporting, Certifying Board will be included in provider credentials on Physician Compare, including the addition of the American Board of Optometry as a Certifying Board. ABO is the only optometric certification board that will be recognized by Physician Compare

This rule reflects a broader strategy to create a health care system that results in better health care and smarter spending by encouraging providers to report to Medicare on cost measures and the quality of care provided to beneficiaries. Starting in 2019, adjustments to provider payments for quality reporting and other factors will be made under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS will replace the Value-Based Payment Modifier, which is set to expire at the end of CY 2018.

“This is an important milestone for all Certifying Boards, especially the American Board of Optometry” said Dr. James Vaught, ABO’s interim executive director. “Providers should be recognized for their extensive training and board certification is acknowledged and valued by doctors, insurers and patients alike”, he said.



Diplomates in the news...

American Board of Optometry Diplomates in leadership positions at the Southern California College of Optometry welcome a new class of future ODs.

Read all about it here.


Residencies and clinical practice years count!

iStock_000013292090_smallerThinking of taking the January 2016 American Board of Optometry Board Certification exam? You’ll be interested to know that the process is now more inclusive for interested ODs.

Keep the following in mind…

  • If you’ve completed an ACOE-approved residency in the past three years, you automatically earn all 150 exam qualification points needed to take the Board Certification exam. No need to accrue continuing education points to qualify.
  • If your residency was completed three to 10 years ago, you earn 100 points toward exam qualification.
  • If it was completed more than 10 years ago, you earn 50 points toward exam qualification.

You also can earn 5 exam qualification points for each year you’ve been in active clinical practice in the previous 10 years (up to 50 points).

To fill out an initial application and get the process started, click the APPLY NOW button above.  The next Board Certification exam period is January 1-31, 2016.

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