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A Word from Our Chair

Earlier this year the American Board of Optometry launched the Continuous Assessment Program, known as CAP for short. It is the heart of our Maintenance of Certification process, which also includes Self Assessment Modules and COPE approved webinars, aimed at creating a structured pathway for self-study and self-assessment. About one-third of our Diplomates started the CAP program this year. The first CAP assessment on Systemic Disease has been very well received, and the second assessment launches this month and focuses on Anterior Segment.

Available online, on-demand, and open book, CAP invites participants to answer clinically related questions. While most of the questions cover fundamental knowledge, the article-based portion of the assessment promotes learning new information and incorporating those concepts into practice. Even the best-intentioned and most well-read optometrist can have trouble keeping up with new clinical guidelines and landmark clinical trials. Our process is designed to help optometrists review important clinical knowledge, while honing in on landmark research and new treatment guidelines, which can immediately be applied to clinical practice.

Although the assessments are scored, their main goal is to facilitate learning in three main ways:

  1. Diplomates are provided with references to review prior to taking each assessment. These references, along with any other reference material, can be used throughout the assessment to help Diplomates learn the material and answer the question correctly.
  2. After each question, Diplomates receive feedback that explains the rationale for the correct answer. This helps to facilitate better retention of information than just “right/wrong” feedback.
  3. Lastly, Diplomates will have multiple attempts to learn the material. So don’t worry if you didn’t pass the first assessment.  If necessary, you will be given a chance at the end of your three-year cycle to pass any assessments you may have missed during a remediation year.

ABO Board Certification is designed to help our Diplomates be as successful as possible! We are constantly striving to improve our process and we value the feedback we receive from our Diplomates. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you may have so that we can provide you with the best possible experience.

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