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A Word from Our Chair

The American Board of Optometry’s Annual Board of Directors Meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas on November 6th in conjunction with the American Academy of Optometry’s meeting.  It was another busy and productive meeting.  Here are a few of the highlights…

The Board approved the appointment of four new members, Dr. Matthew Gerstberger who will represent the AOA, Dr. Kristen Thelen and Dr. David Sterna who are both at-large representatives, and our new public representative Mr. Russell Newman.  We are thrilled to have them on the team and look forward to their contributions.

The focus of the annual meeting was our ongoing effort to ensure a successful roll-out of our new Continuous Assessment Program, also known as CAP.  By now I am sure most of you are aware that this program is a new way to maintain board certification without the long, stressful, and expensive 10-year recertification exam.  More information can be found on our website, along with a recorded webinar which will explain CAP in much more detail.  The ABO was honored that CAP was featured during the American Academy of Optometry Press Conference, an event that highlights the best products and developments within the profession.

The board also approved obtaining COPE credit for our very popular quarterly webinar series.  Starting in 2019, each webinar will be eligible for 2 hours of COPE distance-learning credit.

In addition to our board meeting, we had the opportunity to meet with the American Academy of Optometry and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry to provide an update on our activities and discuss ways we can continue to work together to strengthen optometric board certification.

The exhibit hall was busy with attendees stopping by to speak with our knowledgeable staff and board members and to enter our CAP drawing for an Apple Watch. Congratulations to our winner, Dr. Craig Eckroth, who has been an ABO Diplomate since 2013! I greatly enjoyed getting to talk with Diplomates and potential candidates about their experiences and thoughts on board certification, and how it is benefiting them in their practice. I look forward to this aspect of the meeting every year and definitely took home some great feedback and ideas for continually improving board certification.

On behalf of the ABO Board of Directors and staff, I would like to wish you and your family a happy start to the Holiday Season.

Erich A. Hinel, OD, MS
Chair, American Board of Optometry