The Board Eligibility Policy requires successful completion of Board Certification requirements (written and a maximum of five oral examination attempts) within five years of residency graduation. This was a change to the Board Eligibility policy implemented in 2012, which required successful completion of Board Certification requirements (written and a maximum of four consecutive oral examination attempts) within seven years of residency graduation. This policy impacts all candidates for Board Certification as described below:
- Candidates for Board Certification who complete residency in 2016 and afterwards must successfully complete the written and oral examinations (five maximum attempts) within five years of finishing residency.
- Candidates who completed residency between 2013 and 2016 must successfully complete the written and oral examinations (five maximum attempts) within seven years of years of finishing residency.
- Candidates who completed residency prior to 2013 must successfully complete the written and oral examinations (five maximum attempts) within seven years of the 2012 institution of this policy (i.e., by December 31, 2018).
During the eligibility periods defined above, the candidate will be referred to as Board Eligible and can:
- Sit for the Written Qualifying Examination each year it is offered until successful;
- Sit for the Oral Examination, after the most recent successful completion of the WQE, up to a maximum of five attempts.
Note: If a candidate fails to register by the deadline for an examination that is scheduled in the final year of his/her eligibility, s/he is no longer considered Board Eligible as of the registration deadline date.
Candidates who do not qualify for Board Certification within the timeframe requirements described above
may enter a re‐entry process. Enrolling in the process does not restore Board Eligibility status; however it will
allow the candidate four additional years to obtain Board Certification by completing the following
- As of the date of application and at all times throughout certification, the candidate must hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canadian province in which the candidate’s practice of medicine is regularly conducted and in each other place in which the person practices or has practiced medicine and has an unexpired license;
- Candidate must provide three letters of attestation of the candidate’s practice from ophthalmologists certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology;
- Candidate must participate in the ABO’s Improvement in Medical Practice program;
- Candidate must complete 25 AMA PRA Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, including self-assessment CME, with a year of application.
A candidate who successfully completes the re‐entry process described above will be eligible to sit for the Written Qualifying Examination. The ABO five‐year timeframe requirements are in accordance with the standards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its Member Boards. Exceptions to the policy will be considered on a case‐by‐case basis and in accordance with ABMS guidelines.
Click here to access the re-entry policy and application.