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

Candidate Email 05-01-20

Candidate Communication 05-01-20

Dear Candidates,

Thank you for continuing to read these weekly updates. Although my ABO colleagues and I know that you would have preferred to have the Oral Examination behind you by now, we hope you’re finding these communications about the certification process to be helpful.

What’s New

I’m pleased to report that the first Virtual Oral Examination (VOE) prototype will undergo internal testing next week. While our goal is to continue moving forward as quickly as possible, we hope you appreciate that multiple quality assurance checks are necessary to ensure that the VOE will be fair, valid, secure, and smoothly administered. 

Since the answer to the question of when we will administer the VOE hinges on the outcome of this and subsequent testing, we thought we’d address a few questions that many of you have asked about how to prepare for and pass the Oral Examination. In this week’s video, you’ll hear from ABO Director Jane Bailey, MD, about how to approach Oral Exam questions, what to expect from your Examiners during your session, and even what not to do when answering questions. We hope you’ll find it to be a valuable and instructive 9 minutes. After you watch the video, please send us your comments and questions by replying to this email – we are eager to hear from you.  

What’s Stayed the Same

As we’ve noted previously, you won’t need to repeat the registration process. And if you’re unable to take the examination this year, we’ll extend your seven-year board eligibility period by an additional year. We have also committed to retaining the case-based structure of the examination, so please be sure to watch this week’s video for advice on mastering this format.

What You Can Expect Next

We know that you are eager to finally circle a date on your calendar and we are moving closer to making that happen. Thank you for your continued patience as we make progress towards delivering the first online Oral Examination in ABO (and specialty board) history.


George B. Bartley, MD
Chief Executive Officer