A Word from Our Chair

May 6, 2021
Paul Hodge, OD, FAAO

I would like to begin by thanking the American Board of Optometry Board of Directors for allowing me to serve as chair of this distinguished organization over the past two years. I’ve been an ardent supporter of the ABO from its inception and a Diplomate since June 2011. Former AOA Board Member, Dr. Barbara Horn, nominated me to serve on this board as a representative of the AOA in 2015, and I gladly accepted the offer to serve my profession and this organization. My tenure on the ABO board has been enlightening, eye opening and most certainly professionally gratifying.

Over the past few years, the ABO board has proactively assessed our Diplomate and candidate offerings to ensure that our overall mission is respected, and our programs remain relevant, challenging and meaningful. We have contracted with Scantron to administer our certification examination, allowing for improved testing facilities and faster processing of results. ABO also offers a free quarterly webinar series to our Diplomates as a program benefit. The maintenance of certification program continues to evolve as we keep pace with other medical professional certification organizations. The continuous assessment program (CAP) was instituted to replace the 10-year recertification exam with triannual mini-assessments, which can be taken at your own pace and in the place of your choosing. 

ABO continues to reach out to state licensing boards to request that our CAP assessments count toward relicensure and we expect more approvals soon thanks to the efforts of our state ambassadors.  We are also seeing a trend in the number of health care organizations that are encouraging or demanding evidence of ABO certification for their optometric staff, and this number is likely to grow.

I would like to recognize and thank our Executive Director, April Wilhelm, for the seemingly endless hours that she devotes to managing the daily operations of ABO and her leadership of this organization. I want to also thank Dr. Catherine Hines for her leadership and oversight of test development, CAP offerings and webinar planning. I wish to thank the members of the ABO board of directors for their service, insight, and guidance to this essential optometric organization.  Finally, thank you to each and every Diplomate and candidate for your dedication to our great profession and for your own professional development and commitment to life-long learning. I am truly humbled by this experience. Thank you for this opportunity to serve the ABO and our profession.

Paul Hodge, OD
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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