Survey Results Highlight Diverse Diplomate Opinions and Broad Support for CAP

August 18, 2022
Online Survey

In May, ABO sent a survey to all Diplomates seeking feedback on our maintenance of certification program, the role it plays in providing quality patient care, and input on future specialty certificates for added qualifications. Over 700 Diplomates completed the survey and shared their opinions on topics ranging from the frequency of CAP assessments to the perceived value of board certification and its impact on physician knowledge and patient care.

Survey respondents were grouped into two, top-level categories: those who are current with MOC requirements and intend to maintain their certification and those who indicated they do not intend to renew their certification. Although only 3% indicated they would not be renewing their certification, we asked both groups to identify the top reasons for either maintaining their Diplomate status or allowing it to lapse.

We are both pleased and encouraged to learn the majority of Diplomates cited the same top contributing factors in their decision to participate in MOC and maintain their certification.

  • The educational value of MOC, with an emphasis on CAP assessments
  • Personal satisfaction and a commitment to lifelong learning and improved patient care
  • Recognition among colleagues, patients, employers and the greater healthcare profession

For the small number of Diplomates who do not plan to maintain certification, a few common answers were given.

  • Retirement
  • There is no direct monetary benefit
  • The annual MOC fee is too burdensome
  • The educational modules are too time consuming

Understanding which aspects of board certification and maintenance of certification are of value is key to keeping Diplomates engaged in the program and up-to-date with contemporary optometric knowledge.

Overall, 90% of surveyed Diplomates are still pleased with their decision to become board certified. Seventy-eight percent of Diplomates agreed that board certification is a valuable tool in maintaining clinical expertise and 79% agreed that board certification contributes to personal satisfaction and career accomplishment. And among MOC activities, 84% of Diplomates find the CAP assessments to be a valuable learning tool.

When asked what ABO could change or do differently to make the maintenance of certification program even better, Diplomates responded with over 100 pages of comments. We are happy to report that many of the comments indicated a high level of satisfaction with the current program and no changes are needed. However, we also received many suggestions for improvement in all areas of MOC. Categorizing and ranking the comments revealed some common themes which are highlighted here.

Blue: Top Comment – Red: Frequent Comment – Green: Occasional Comment

The final portion of the survey was focused on our upcoming pilot program that will offer a Certificate of Added Qualification in one of two areas, Glaucoma and Cornea/Contact Lens. This program will allow Diplomates to apply for entry into a specialty MOC path to maintain board certification. If successful, additional specialty CAQs may be offered. Overall, 72% of Diplomates indicated they were somewhat or very interested in the new credential. Other specialty areas that Diplomates ranked high for future CAQs included Primary Care, Retina, Ocular Disease, Dry Eye and Myopia Management. The pilot program is scheduled to launch in 2023 and additional details will be shared in the coming months.

While we are pleased with the feedback from the survey and the level of satisfaction and benefit perceived by Diplomates, we also took note of the many suggestions and comments related to the MOC process and the merit and value of board certification within the optometric profession. As a result, the ABO Board of Directors has appointed a committee to review the survey results and make any recommendations for improvements to the program. As always, our goal is to provide a meaningful and worthwhile board certification and maintenance of certification process and continually strive to better serve the needs of Diplomates. Any changes to MOC, enhancements to the Diplomate experience or new initiatives undertaken by ABO will be announced before the end of the year. To view a full copy of the survey results, click here.

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