View the latest updates from the American Board of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Information Center.

Candidate Email 04-24-20

Dear Candidates,

What’s New

If you’ve ever wondered why the certification process includes an oral examination component, this week’s video should help answer that question. Hosted by ABO Administrator Beth Ann Comber and featuring commentary by Director of Assessment & Psychometrics Sarah Schnabel, PhD and Board Director Steven Gedde, MD, this video also explores some of the opportunities and challenges of transitioning to a virtual examination.


If you are interested in reading some of the materials that are mentioned in the video, here are the links:

What's Stayed the Same

  • As I mentioned last week, we intend to preserve the original case-based format of the face-to-face oral examination when we shift to a virtual administration (VOE20).
  • The seven-year board eligibility window following graduation from residency will be extended by one year if you are unable to sit for the VOE in 2020.
  • Paid examination fees will be credited to the next administration; there is no need to reregister.

What You Can Expect Next

We hope to conduct initial field testing with our diplomate volunteers within the next few weeks. Successful field testing will allow us to schedule the pilot and VOE20 administration opportunities. We appreciate the strong interest among candidates to participate in the pilot and will provide details about the lottery selection process soon. Please be assured that even if you are not selected for the pilot, you will still have an opportunity to take the virtual examination this year.

The ABO remains grateful for your understanding and for your enthusiasm for change during these challenging times. We look forward to breaking new ground together.

George B. Bartley, MD
Chief Executive Officer