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Board Eligibility Policy

Effective 03/01/2019

The Board Eligibility Policy requires successful completion of American Board of Ophthalmology certification requirements (written examination and oral examination) within 7 years of residency graduation. This policy applies to all candidates for board certification. This policy revision extends eligibility by 2 years and eliminates a re-entry process following the 7-year Board Eligibility period.

 During the 7-year Board Eligibility period, a candidate may refer to himself/herself as “Board Eligible” and can:

  • Sit for the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) each time it is offered until successful;
  • Sit for the Oral Examination, after successful completion of the WQE. 

Note: If a candidate fails to register by the deadline for an examination that is scheduled in the final year of his/her Board Eligibility period, s/he is no longer considered Board Eligible following the registration deadline date. 

A candidate who does not qualify for board certification within the Board Eligibility period described above may continue to pursue certification, however s/he will not be considered “Board Eligible” by the American Board of Ophthalmology or the American Board of Medical Specialties and should not represent himself/herself in this manner.

Once a candidate's 7-year Board Eligibility period ends, fees for the WQE and oral become nonrefundable, regardless of the reason, for any cancellations received after the exam registration deadline.