Certification Statistics

Diplomate Data

The American Board of Ophthalmology welcomes new diplomates at two points during each calendar year—once after the administration of each Oral Examination. Diplomates are certified for a 10-year period, and may be recertified for an additional 10 years upon completion of Maintenance of Certification. The table below reflects the number of diplomates certified and recertified each year.

Year Certified Spring Certified Fall Certified Total Recertified (through MOC)
2019 232 --
-- --
2018 287 284 571 562*
2017 261 240 501 897
2016 222 220 442 885
2015 226 225 451 788

*Approximately 200 additional diplomates have received a one-year extension of their certificates in order to complete the Quarterly Questions assessment program for Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

Certification Exams

Statistics from the previous five years of board certification examination administrations are listed below. The Board has administered certification examinations since 1916. To date, the ABO has held 234 initial certification examinations and certified 31,195 ophthalmologists.

Written Qualifying Examination (WQE)

Year Total Candidates 1st Time Takers 1st Time Takers
Passed
Repeat Takers Repeat Takers
Passed
Overall Passed Overall Failed
2019 538 475 460 (96.8%) 63 25 (39.7%) 485 (90.1%) 53 (9.9%)
2018 658 490 456 (93.1%) 168 68 (40.5%) 524 (79.6%) 134 (20.4%)
2017 645 494 438 (88.7%) 151 64 (42.4%) 502 (77.8%) 143 (22.2%)
2016 665 501 437 (87.2%) 164 58 (35.4%) 495 (74.4%) 170 (25.6%)
2015 632 460 416 (90.4%) 172  64 (37.2%)  480 (75.9%) 152 (24.1%) 

Oral Examination

Year Total Candidates 1st Time Takers 1st Time Takers
Passed
Repeat Takers Repeat Takers
Passed
Overall Passed Overall Failed
S2019 282 226 194 (85.8%) 56 38 (67.9%) 232 (82.3%) 50 (17.7%)
F2018 338 292 249 (85.3%) 46 35 (76%) 284 (84%) 54 (16%)
S2018 335 277 242 (87.4%) 58 45 (77.6%) 287 (85.7%) 48 (14.3%)
F2017 292 225 187 (83.1%) 67 53 (79.1%) 240 (82.2%) 52 (17.8%)
S2017 337 274 220 (80.3%) 63 41 (65.1%) 261 (77.4%) 76 (22.6%)
F2016 290 199 155 (77.9%) 91 65 (71.4%) 220 (75.9%) 70 (24.1%)
S2016 312 262 190 (72.5%)  50 32 (64%)  222 (71.2%)  90 (28.8%) 
F2015 277 221 182 (82.4%)  56 43 (76.8%)  225 (81.2%)  52 (18.8%) 
S2015 280 232 189 (81.5%)  48 37 (77.1%)  226 (80.7%)  54 (19.3%)