To serve the public by certifying ophthalmologists through the verification of competencies.

Guiding Principles

  1. Certification promotes and recognizes aspirational goals, not minimum standards.
  2. Certification is a lifelong process that promotes excellence through continuous improvement.
  3. Certification should be voluntary, as our founders intended.
  4. Certification should be challenging and meaningful, yet not burdensome to busy practitioners.
  5. ABO diplomates are professionals and colleagues, and we honor them accordingly.
  6. The ABO stewards its finances with integrity and transparency.
  7. The ABO is an independent certifying board of practicing ophthalmologists who collaborate whenever possible with professional societies, organizations, and other stakeholders who strive to advance excellence.

Commitment to Promoting Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Ophthalmology

For centuries, systemic and institutional racism in the United States has harmed and killed countless individuals, with a sadly disproportionate and more devastating extent in the Black community. All physicians implicitly subscribe to the maxim primum non nocere: first, do no harm. Standing against racism is necessary but not sufficient; physicians must lead by example by standing for safety, equality, opportunity, and freedom for all persons. To more effectively serve the public and the ophthalmologists who care for patients and their families, the American Board of Ophthalmology pledges to listen to and learn from our African American diplomates and remains steadfast in its commitment to educate all of its stakeholders on this critical matter.

Steps We're Taking

  • The ABO is honored to partner with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology to support the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program. The ABO also contributes to the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Research Program.
  • Our Quarterly Questions® program, central to maintaining certification in ophthalmology, features articles on unconscious bias, the toxicity of racism, and improving the health of marginalized communities and the underprivileged.
  • The ABO will continue to enhance the diversity of its examiners, volunteers, and directors.