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Nursing Mothers Policy

Revised 06/01/2020

The American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) supports mothers in ophthalmology and provides accommodations for lactating mothers for the Written Qualifying Examination and the Oral Examination, as follows:

Written Qualifying Examination (WQE)

Accommodation Description

Lactating mothers will be granted extra examination time, extra break time, and a private room for pumping at our vendor's testing centers. We work with our test vendor to locate the best available testing location with appropriate allocated spaces for these accommodations. Please note, the test vendor may inspect all pumping supplies prior to admittance to the examination. 

How to Request

Please submit an email no less than 90 days prior to the examination. These accommodations allow for the use of breast pumps and related supplies only. Breastfeeding of infants and children during the examination is not permitted. Space is limited; requests will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.


Oral Examination

Accommodation Description

The ABO provides extended Oral Examination time for nursing mothers, which includes a 60-minute break for pumping. In addition to locating a quiet, distraction-free testing environment in their home or office for the examination, candidates who request nursing accommodations must have access to a separate room to use for pumping. 

  • For security reasons, candidates must leave their camera and microphone connected for the duration of the examination session; therefore, candidates will need to take their pumping break in a separate room.
  • At the designated breaktime, an examiner will instruct each candidate to leave the testing room for 60 minutes without disabling their Zoom video and audio connection. 
  • To ensure candidate privacy is maintained, candidates are not permitted to pump or nurse in the same room where their exam is being conducted. 

How to Request

Requests for accommodations must be submitted as part of candidates' exam preferences survey and received no later than June 12.