ABO Content Outlines

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Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) 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

The content outline or test blueprint for the WQE lists the topics you can expect to see on the examination and the percentage of questions that will come from each topic area. The content outline was updated in August 2017 after a review and revision process. This WQE content outline is effective for the 2018 WQE administration and will remain in effect for three to five years according to best practices in test development. Changes may be made sooner if there are significant changes to the field that warrant re-review.

Development of the WQE content outline adhered to psychometric guidelines for exam development and relied primarily on existing evidence-based literature and expert consensus. Expert consensus was provided by volunteer 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 included representatives of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and other ophthalmology subspecialty societies. The volunteers also represented a great diversity in gender, age, practice type, and geography.

  • Brandon Ayres, ASCRS
  • Megan Collins, AAPOS
  • Neda Esmaili, ASOPRS
  • Dan Gombos, AAOOP
  • Jonathan Jonisch, ASRS
  • Frank LaRosa, AESC
  • Amy Lin, Contact Lens Assn of Ophthalmologists
  • Sarwat Salim, AGS
  • Adreinne Scott, The Retina Society
  • H. Nida Sen, Uveitis Society
  • Christopher Ta, The Cornea Society

Following the development of the content outline, the blueprint weights (percentages) were established through a practice analysis survey which was sent to the ABO diplomate community in January 2017. The survey asked diplomates to weigh the importance of each content outline task for safe and effective practice. Five-hundred and forty-eight unique responses from diplomates were compiled and presented to the ABO written examinations committee for final review and approval.

Diplomates are encouraged to use this outline to prepare for the WQE; however, this outline is a study tool, not a study guide. 

In addition to reviewing the content outline, 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

©2018 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

©2018 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.


2017 PORT/DOCK/Quarterly Questions Content Outline

The American Board of Ophthalmology has developed a content outline for 2017 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessments. 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. This content serves as the basis for the 2017 PORTs, DOCK Examination, and Quarterly Questions Pilot Program.

About the Content Outline

Development of the 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.

Accessing the Content Outline

The table below divides the 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 content outline online or as a PDF. 

Content Outline

Content Outline Version

PORT/DOCK Practice Emphasis Areas

Online

PDF

PORT/DOCK Comprehensive

Online

PDF

PORT/DOCK/Quarterly Questions Core

Online

PDF

Providing Feedback

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 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.

Copyright and Usage Policy

©2018 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.


2018 Quarterly Questions

The content outline or test blueprint for Quarterly Questions lists the topics you can expect to see on the assessment and the approximate percentage of questions that will come from each topic area over time. The content outline was developed in August 2017 after a review and revision process. This examination blueprint was used to build the 2018 and 2019 versions of Quarterly Questions; however, a new topic area for Ophthalmic Emergencies was added under Core Knowledge for 2019. Best practices in test development call for the creation of a new content outline every 3-5 years. The outline may be revised sooner if significant changes to the field warrant re-review.

About the Content Outline

Development of the QQ content outline adhered to psychometric guidelines for exam development and relied primarily on existing evidence-based literature and expert consensus. Expert consensus was provided by volunteer practicing ophthalmologists representing the following subspecialties: Cataract/Anterior, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-Orbital, Oculoplastics, Pediatrics/Strabismus Segment, Refraction and Optics, Retina-Vitreous, and Uveitis. These volunteers included representatives of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and other ophthalmology subspecialty societies. The volunteers also represented a great diversity in gender, age, practice type, and geography.

Cataract    

  • George Cioffi, M.D.
  • Yousuf Khalifa, M.D.
  • Leslie Olsakovsky, M.D.
  • Mitchell Jackson, M.D.

Comprehensive     

  • Chris Albanis, M.D.
  • Sean Breit, M.D.
  • Chetan Soni, M.D.

Cornea Volunteers          

  • Raj Goyal, M.D.
  • Andrew J.W. Hoang, M.D.
  • Daniel A. Johnson, M.D.
  • Catherine Newton, M.D.
  • M. Soledad Cortina, M.D.
  • Christopher N. Ta, M.D.

Glaucoma

  • Annette Giangiacomo, M.D.
  • Steve Mansberger, M.D.
  • Sumitra Khandelwal, M.D.
  • Louis Pasquale, M.D.

Neuro          

  • Rudrani Banik, M.D.
  • Byron Lam, M.D.
  • Andy Lee, M.D.
  • Peter Quiros, M.D.
  • Prem Subramanian, M.D.
  • Thomas Whittaker, M.D.

Oculoplastics      

  • Holly Chang, M.D.

Pediatrics

  • Douglas Fredrick, M.D.
  • Anthony P. Johnson, M.D.
  • Evelyn Paysse, M.D.
  • Paul Rychwalski, M.D.
  • Tammy Yanovitch, M.D.

Refraction

  • Frank Bishop, M.D.
  • Jean Hausheer, M.D.
  • Paul Munden, M.D.
  • Steven Shields, M.D.
  • Ted Thall, M.D.
  • Amy Lin, M.D.

Retina      

  • Charles Barr, M.D.
  • Amy Chomsky, M.D.
  • Jaclyn Kovach, M.D.
  • Daryl Kurz, M.D.
  • Elliott Sohn, M.D.
  • J. Tim Stout, M.D.

Uveitis         

  • J. Paul Dieckert, M.D.
  • Ann Marie Lobo, M.D.
  • P. Kumar Rao, M.D.
  • Khalid Tabbara, M.D.

Following the development of the content outline, the blueprint weights (percentages) were established through a practice analysis survey which was sent to the ABO diplomate community in January 2017. The survey asked diplomates to weigh the importance of each content outline task for safe and effective practice. All diplomates rated the importance of the core content outline, and diplomates also rated the importance of the domain and task areas in their reported primary practice emphasis area.

The Quarterly Questions program is designed to measure everyday clinical practice knowledge or knowledge that is gained from experience in practice. The assessment is not meant to require advance study or preparation, however, the content outline for QQ can be used for reference to familiarize yourself with the content you can expect.

Accessing the Content Outline

Click here to access the 2018 Quarterly Questions Content Outline.

Providing Feedback

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 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.

Copyright and Usage Policy

©2018 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.