American Board of Optometry Sets Timetable for Board Certification Applications, Exam
ATLANTA—The newly created American Board of Optometry (ABO) expects to start providing applications for its new board certification program in April, with the first certification exams planned to begin "early in 2011," according to ABO chairman David Cockrell, OD.
Cockrell announced during SECO International here last week that the ABO will be "a paperless entity"—applications will be available via its Web site, www.abopt.org
, sometime in April. The requirements for initial board certification follow the recommendations of the profession, allowing a three-year phase-in period, similar to processes of medical specialties in their formative years. The educational requirements during this phase-in period allow numerous ways to qualify for the examination. To view details about these requirements, download a pdf of the Requirements for Board Certification.
The organization is currently interviewing software companies to select one to create the exam, which is expected to cover "possibly five core categories and three categories of emphasis," Cockrell said. He noted, "The process is designed to test what an optometrist in practice does." Candidates for certification will be told in advance what subjects will be covered by the exam, and given suggestions on what they need to do to prepare to take it.
Cockrell said no OD will need to travel beyond his or her home state to take the exam, which will be given in at least five or six locations per state. The ABO is targeting the first quarter of next year to have the exams ready.
The application fee is expected to be in the $200 to $250 range, according to Cockrell; ABO executives have said previously that they anticipate the exam fee will fall in the $800 to $1,500 range, he noted.