ABO Content Outlines

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WRITTEN QUALIFYING EXAMINATION CONTENT OUTLINE

The American Board of Ophthalmology has developed a content outline for the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE). The purpose of the content outline is to identify the basic science and clinical knowledge necessary for competent performance by candidates who have satisfactorily completed an accredited program of education in ophthalmology.

About the WQE Content Outline

Development of the WQE Content Outline adhered to psychometric guidelines for exam development and relied primarily on existing evidence-based literature and expert consensus. The ABO was assisted by 78 practicing ophthalmologists representing the following subspecialties: Cataract/Anterior, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-Orbital, Oculoplastics, Pathology, Pediatrics/Strabismus Segment, Refraction and Optics, Retina-Vitreous, and Uveitis. These volunteers were organized by subspecialty into committees. Each committee included at least one comprehensive ophthalmologist, one ophthalmologist practicing a different subspecialty than that of the committee, and one representative from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The volunteers also represented a great diversity in gender, age, practice type, and geography.

The WQE content outline serves as the basis for WQE content. Diplomates are encouraged to use this outline to prepare for the WQE; however, this outline is a study tool, not a study guide. As an independent testing organization, the ABO cannot recommend study products for exams. This is done to prevent any conflicts of interest in the process of exam development and administration.

For further assistance locating preparation materials, the ABO suggests:

  • Talking to peers and colleagues about what resources they have used and found most helpful.
  • Contacting a professional society such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology or a subspecialty organization for advice, recommendations, and information about their educational materials.

Accessing the WQE Content Outline

The WQE Content Outline is available for review online or can be downloaded as a PDF.  Please review the Copyright and Usage Policy prior to accessing these documents.

WQE Content Outline: Online | PDF

Providing Feedback on the WQE Content Outline

The American Board of Ophthalmology is committed to the continuous improvement of its assessment tools and processes for certification and Maintenance of Certification in the practice of ophthalmology. Suggested updates for the next version of the WQE Content Outline may be sent to ContentOutline@abop.org. Comments must reference the specific section of the outline to which you are referring and provide a source/documentation for the content you are recommending. All comments will be directed to the appropriate review committee. General questions about the certification process and examinations should be sent to info@abop.org.

WQE Content Outline Copyright and Usage Policy

©2017 American Board of Ophthalmology. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or transmitted, by any electronic or mechanical means, including the use of information storage and retrieval systems, to any other person without the prior express written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology, except as permitted under U.S. copyright law. This prohibition against unlawful or unauthorized reproduction is intended to include all U.S. domestic use as well as protection afforded under any international forum or law, including, but not limited to, G.A.T.T. In particular, the user of the Information agrees: to retrieve documents for information only; to save or print a single copy for personal use only and not to reproduce any portion of the document except as permitted under U.S. copyright law without the prior written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology; to acknowledge the American Board of Ophthalmology as the source of any reproduction of any selected passage, table diagram or other extract reproduced; not to make any charge for providing the Information to another person or organization without the prior written consent of the American Board of Ophthalmology and payment of an agreed copyright fee to the American Board of Ophthalmology; not to modify the information without the express prior written permission from the American Board of Ophthalmology; and to include this copyright notice and disclaimer in any copy made.  


ORAL EXAMINATION CONTENT OUTLINE

The American Board of Ophthalmology has developed a content outline for the Oral Examination. The purpose of the content outline is to outline the list of examination topic areas that will be covered on the Oral Examination. Pursuant to exam development best practices, the content outline will be reviewed once every three to five years to ensure it stays relevant to current practice. 

About the Oral Content Outline

Development of the Oral Content Outline adhered to psychometric guidelines for exam development and relied primarily on existing evidence-based literature and expert consensus. In 2016, the ABO conducted a practice analysis survey of diplomates with diversity in gender, age, practice type, and geography. The purpose of the survey was to gather feedback on the relative importance of each of the examination topic areas. This information was aggregated and used to calculate the relative weight assigned to each of the topic areas.

Using the Oral Content Outline

Candidates are encouraged to use this outline to prepare for the Oral Examination; however, this outline is a study tool, not a study guide. As an independent testing organization, the ABO cannot recommend study products for its examinations. This is done to prevent any conflicts of interest in the process of exam development and administration.

For further assistance locating preparation materials, the ABO suggests:

  • Talking to peers and colleagues about what resources they have used and found most helpful.
  • Contacting a professional society such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology or a subspecialty organization for advice, recommendations, and information about their educational materials.

Accessing the Oral Content Outline

The Oral Content Outline is available as a PDF.  

Providing Feedback on the Oral Content Outline

The American Board of Ophthalmology is committed to the continuous improvement of its assessment tools and processes for certification and Maintenance of Certification in the practice of ophthalmology. Suggested updates for the next version of the Oral Content Outline may be sent to ContentOutline@abop.org. Comments must reference the specific section of the outline to which you are referring and provide a source/documentation for the content you are recommending. All comments will be directed to the appropriate review committee. General questions about the certification process and examinations should be sent to info@abop.org.

Oral Content Outline Copyright and Usage Policy

©2017 American Board of Ophthalmology. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or transmitted, by any electronic or mechanical means, including the use of information storage and retrieval systems, to any other person without the prior express written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology, except as permitted under U.S. copyright law. This prohibition against unlawful or unauthorized reproduction is intended to include all U.S. domestic use as well as protection afforded under any international forum or law, including, but not limited to, G.A.T.T. In particular, the user of the Information agrees: to retrieve documents for information only; to save or print a single copy for personal use only and not to reproduce any portion of the document except as permitted under U.S. copyright law without the prior written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology; to acknowledge the American Board of Ophthalmology as the source of any reproduction of any selected passage, table diagram or other extract reproduced; not to make any charge for providing the Information to another person or organization without the prior written consent of the American Board of Ophthalmology and payment of an agreed copyright fee to the American Board of Ophthalmology; not to modify the information without the express prior written permission from the American Board of Ophthalmology; and to include this copyright notice and disclaimer in any copy made.


MOC CONTENT OUTLINE

The American Board of Ophthalmology has developed a content outline for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). The purpose of the content outline is to identify the tasks and knowledge necessary for competent performance by practicing ophthalmologists throughout the continuum of practice.

About the MOC Content Outline

Development of the MOC Content Outline adhered to psychometric guidelines for exam development and relied primarily on existing evidence-based literature and expert consensus. The ABO was assisted by 78 practicing ophthalmologists representing the following subspecialties: Cataract/Anterior, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-Orbital, Oculoplastics, Pathology, Pediatrics/Strabismus Segment, Refraction and Optics, Retina-Vitreous, and Uveitis. These volunteers were organized by subspecialty into committees. Each committee included at least one comprehensive ophthalmologist, one ophthalmologist practicing a different subspecialty than that of the committee, and one representative from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The volunteers also represented a great diversity in gender, age, practice type, and geography. Like all ABO exam development volunteers, all committee members participate in Maintenance of Certification.

The tasks and knowledge statements were developed through the combined efforts of the ABO, subject-matter experts, and Prometric, which is a test development and delivery provider to more than 400 organizations worldwide. Multiple sources of content were consulted to create the initial topic list. The subsequent use of the modified Delphi methodology to generate the approved list of tasks and knowledge statements completed the iterative process.

Using the MOC Content Outline

Content published in the MOC Content Outline in 2017 serves as the basis for MOC examination content in 2017. Diplomates are encouraged to use this outline to prepare for MOC examinations, including the Periodic Ophthalmic Review Tests (PORTs) and the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) examination.

The MOC Content Outline is a study tool, not a study guide. As an independent testing organization, the ABO cannot recommend study products for exams. This is done to prevent any conflicts of interest in the process of exam development and administration. For further assistance locating preparation materials, the ABO suggests:

  • Talking to peers and colleagues about what resources they have used and found most helpful.
  • Contacting a professional society such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology or a subspecialty organization for advice, recommendations, and information about their educational materials.

Accessing the MOC Content Outline

The table below divides the MOC Content Outline into three sections: core ophthalmic knowledge (knowledge considered fundamental to practice for all ophthalmologists); comprehensive ophthalmic knowledge (designed for ophthalmologists who do not focus their practice on a particular subspecialty area); and one section covering all Practice Emphasis Areas (PEAs).

Each section of the outline is available for review online or can be downloaded as a PDF. Click the links inside the table below to view the MOC Content Outline online or as a PDF. 

MOC Exam

Content Outline Version

MOC PORT/DOCK Practice Emphasis Modules

Online

PDF

MOC PORT/DOCK Comprehensive Modules

Online

PDF

MOC PORT/DOCK Core Module

Online

PDF

Providing Feedback on the MOC Content Outline

The American Board of Ophthalmology is committed to the continuous improvement of its assessment tools and processes for certification and Maintenance of Certification in the practice of ophthalmology. Suggested updates for the next iteration of the MOC Content Outline may be sent to ContentOutline@abop.org. Comments must reference the specific section of the outline to which you are referring and provide a source/documentation for the content you are recommending. All comments will be directed to the appropriate review committee. General questions about the MOC process and examinations should be sent to MOC@abop.org.

MOC Content Outline Copyright and Usage Policy

©2017 American Board of Ophthalmology. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or transmitted, by any electronic or mechanical means, including the use of information storage and retrieval systems, to any other person without the prior express written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology, except as permitted under U.S. copyright law.  This prohibition against unlawful or unauthorized reproduction is intended to include all U.S. domestic use as well as protection afforded under any international forum or law, including, but not limited to, G.A.T.T.  In particular, the user of the Information agrees: to retrieve documents for information only; to save or print a single copy for personal use only and not to reproduce any portion of the document except as permitted under U.S. copyright law without the prior written permission of the American Board of Ophthalmology; to acknowledge the American Board of Ophthalmology as the source of any reproduction of any selected passage, table diagram or other extract reproduced;  not to make any charge for providing the Information to another person or organization without the prior written consent of the American Board of Ophthalmology and payment of an agreed copyright fee to the American Board of Ophthalmology; not to modify the information without the express prior written permission from the American Board of Ophthalmology; and to include this copyright notice and disclaimer in any copy made.