A Word from Our Chair

November 25, 2019

The ABO Board of Trustees held its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida on October 22nd and I am honored and humbled to have been selected to serve as Chair of the ABO Board. Dr. David Sterna was elected vice-chair, Dr. Mike Gerstner was elected secretary, and our public member, Russell Newman, was elected treasurer. 

I am a 1985 graduate of the Michigan College of Optometry and work in a private group optometric practice in Allegan, Michigan. I earned my board certification in July 2011 and have served on the ABO Board as an AOA appointee since 2015. For me, ABO board certification and the maintenance of certification program is challenging, invigorating and very much worth my investment. 

I would like to take this time to recognize and thank Dr. Erich Hinel for his service on the ABO Board and particularly for the past two years as ABO Chair. The time commitment and dedication shown by Dr. Hinel has been exemplary and is greatly appreciated by every member of the ABO Board.  We are fortunate to have Dr. Hinel serve as immediate past chair of the ABO for the next two years. 

The ABO Board continues to evaluate our testing, learning and assessment processes as we strive to keep our Maintenance of Certification Program beneficial, educational and worthwhile for our Diplomates. The introduction of our Continuous Learning Program (CAP) this year has proven to be a significant step forward in achieving our mission. As always, if you have recommendations or suggestions for ways to improve our process or methods, I encourage you to contact myself or ABO Executive Director, April Wilhelm, to let us know your thoughts.

Board certification has proven to be a valuable tool for our profession by offering a voluntary, accredited program to challenge both our clinical knowledge and skills and assist us with keeping current in the latest optometric research and practice guidelines. I would like to thank each Diplomate and Candidate for your dedication to our profession, the ABO and to our patients as we strive to improve patient care through optometric board certification and maintenance of certification. 

Paul Hodge, OD
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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