A Word from Our Chair

October 27, 2023

Taking an idea and turning it into reality requires a great amount of persistence and hard work. And there is no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off. This week, ABO launched the final piece of our new Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) pilot program. Applications for the CAQs became available in May and the final piece, the emphasis area assessment, is now available in Learning Builder.

CAQs offer an opportunity for Diplomates to earn a credential in one of two focused practice areas, Glaucoma or Cornea & Contact Lens, and then maintain their board certification with a higher emphasis in that focused area. While our colleagues in medicine have long had the opportunity to earn a subspecialty credential, this is the first program in optometry to offer a focused credential, validated through a comprehensive application process and a psychometrically sound assessment.

Recognizing focused areas of practice in optometry is a conversation that has been around for years. And while there is still no formal process in place to designate or recognize these, many believe that they already exist in some form or another, having organically grown from various programs such as COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development).

At ABO, we are excited to fully launch our new CAQ pilot program. Diplomates who have earned their board certification in primary care optometry can now seek recognition for their expertise and experience in a focused area through a secondary credential. If successful, we hope to add additional practice areas in the future. And while a CAQ is not a full-fledged board certification in a subspecialty, it is a starting point for recognition and an opportunity to continue the conversation on a formal process for recognizing focused practice areas within optometry.

I encourage all Diplomates who are interested in learning more about the Certification of Added Qualification to visit our website, watch the short video and discover the ways it can benefit you.

Diane Adamczyk, OD, FAAO
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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