Oral Examination

About the Examination

The second of two evaluations in the American Board of Ophthalmology's certification process, the Oral Examination is a timed assessment in which your examiners will present you with a series of cases, known as Patient Management Problems (PMPs), and ask you to verbally describe how you would care for each patient.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and in-person meetings, the ABO will administer the Oral Examination virtually again in 2021. Procedures for the online examination, which preserves the original case-based format of the face-to-face exam, can be found in the Candidate Procedures Manual. We strongly encourage you to review our Preparing for the Oral Exam page for useful information on the criteria examiners use to evaluate candidate performance along with sample exam cases and videos.

2021-candidate -manual

Passing the Oral Examination (after successful completion of the Written Qualifying Examination) means that you have met the requirements for board certification in ophthalmology and will receive a certificate valid for 10 years. Upon becoming a board-certified Diplomate of the Board, you will begin a program of lifelong learning and continuous improvement in order to renew your certification throughout your career in practice.

As you plan your path to board certification, please keep in mind that the Board Eligibility Policy requires successful completion all board certification requirements (written and oral examination) within seven years of residency graduation.