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About the Board

A Legacy of Leadership

The American Board of Ophthalmology is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States. Founded in 1916, the ABO was the first American Board established to certify medical specialists and is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Until ophthalmologists led the call for higher standards in the practice of medicine, patients had no way of knowing if their specialists received critical training in that specialty area of medicine. The founders of the ABO recognized that providing quality eye care was only half the battle -- they needed to create a way for patients to be able to recognize it.

Our Role in Health Care Quality

Today, the ABO certifies ophthalmologists who have completed an accredited ophthalmic residency training program and demonstrated the required level of knowledge, judgment, skills, and experience in ophthalmology. Our Continuing Certification (formerly Maintenance of Certification or MOC) program for board-certified diplomates promotes career-long learning and quality improvement through a series of accredited educational courses, rigorous knowledge examinations, and hands-on activities that require practice performance activities.

We publish certification and Continuing Certification participation information to help patients make more informed decisions when choosing a doctor. Diplomates of the American Board of Ophthalmology are also listed in directories published by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Although the ABO does much to improve the quality of ophthalmic care, we do not dispense specific medical advice, recommend a particular ophthalmologist over another ophthalmologist, or set requirements for membership to hospital staffs. ABO certification is not an academic degree or a license to practice ophthalmology.

We take patient feedback very seriously, and we'd love to hear your stories about how a board certified ophthalmologist has helped you or your family member. Concerns about a physician's performance, however, should be directed to your state's medical licensing board for formal review.

Learn More

For more information designed for the public and patients, or to verify your doctor's certification, click here. Governance and policy information for the organization, along with detailed information about our certification and Continuing Certification programs is also available.