How do we Compare?

October 12, 2016

As ABO board certification becomes more valued in the optometry profession and our number of Diplomates grows, I often get asked how our fees compare to other medical boards.  This can be a tough question considering the vast difference in size of many board organizations. Covering operating expenses for a board with 80,000 members can be quite different than covering operating expenses for a relatively new board with 3,000 members.

ABO board certification was developed based on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) model. As such, our fee structure closely resembles that of ABMS member boards. We have an application fee, an exam fee and an annual MOC fee. This, however, is where many of the similarities end. As a smaller board, ABO has several advantages as well as disadvantages that play into establishing fees.


  • Small staff
  • Large volunteer base
  • Wider choice in vendors
  • Limited operating expenses


  • Smaller number of members to generate revenue
  • Minimum pricing levels set by vendors

When ABO was formed in 2010, our goal was to keep the program as affordable as possible while maintaining quality, value and relevance. Six years later, this is still our goal. We operate with a lean staff and budget and have developed relationships with vendors that allow us to offer a high quality program with reasonable expenses. We also have a tremendous network of volunteers and subject matter experts who work with ABO to provide high-quality exam content and learning modules. ABO is working hard to ensure our Diplomates are being assessed fair and reasonable fees for participating in a valuable, high-quality board certification program. Below is a chart that provides a simple comparison of fees charged by ABO as well as similar medical board organizations.





Check Board Certification Status

By going through the voluntary process of becoming board certified, our Diplomates demonstrate competence beyond entry level.

Upcoming Events

Stay in the know about exams, training, and more by visiting our events page.

Academy 2023 New Orleans

Oct 11, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - Oct 13, 2023 @ 3:00 pm CDT
ABO will be attending Academy in New Orleans October 11 - 13, 2023. Please stop by booth 609 to learn...
More About Event >

Webinar: Pediatrics Made Easy: Tips for Pediatric Eye Exams and Prescribing

Nov 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CST
Presented by Jenelle Mallios, OD. The goal of this course is to help primary care optometrists be comfortable in managing...
More About Event >

Spring Exam Window

Feb 1, 2024 @ 8:00 am - Mar 31, 2024 @ 5:00 pm CST
The next administration of the board certification exam will be February 1 - March 31, 2024. Applications may be submitted...
More About Event >


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.