Update from our Board Chair

April 20, 2016

What does it mean to be board certified in optometry? Lifelong Learning. Commitment to Growth. Parity with BarbaraMedicine. A Credential that Patients Look For.

Lifelong Learning. In order to bring this goal to the profession, we have increased our social media presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook, you will find Monday Morning Grand Rounds–a mostly weekly feature in which a case is presented with questions; the answers are posted on Wednesday.  We also post studies from various journals nearly every day, and share those with ODs on Facebook, a group that has almost 25,000 members.  (Follow American Board of Optometry (ABO) on Facebook or LinkedIn to see a new study nearly every day.)

Commitment to Growth.  Professions grow and change, and to ensure that we are current, every five years we do a new Job Task Analysis Survey. It goes out randomly to 10,000 members of the profession, and the responses are used to develop and organize the board certification exam. The latest analysis has been completed and the July exam will reflect that the majority of ODs are practicing general optometry with specific emphasis in contact lenses and ocular disease. In addition, new SAMs and PPMs are being developed and are expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

Parity with Medicine.  The American Board of Optometry received CMS accreditation for Maintenance of Certification by following the lead of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). They continually re-evaluate and modify their requirements, and so do we. This year, we added live webinars as acceptable for Category 1 continuing education towards Maintenance of Certification. We will continue to evaluate and revise requirements with an eye towards making it more convenient for Diplomates to maintain certification.

A Credential that Patients Look For.  Also in 2016, you will begin to see American Board of Optometry Board Certification listed as a credential in Health Grades and on the CMS website. That means that when a patient is new to an area and is looking for an optometrist, they will be able to find you by the distinction “board certified.” We also expect that the designation will count as a benefit toward Merit Based Incentive Payment when CMS institutes that program next year.

The American Board of Optometry Board of Directors is here to serve you.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

All best wishes,

Barbara L. Reiss, OD, FAAO
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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