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ABO Continuing Certification

For physicians, what it means to be excellent evolves with every new discovery and technological breakthrough. To remain performing at the highest levels of patient care, we work to continuously enhance our clinical knowledge and improve our skills. The American Board of Ophthalmology’s Continuing Certification program applies structure and rigor to those efforts, with activities developed by practicing ophthalmologists for practicing ophthalmologists.  

The ABO's Continuing Certification program activities are based on the four-part structure developed by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the umbrella organization for the nation’s 24 medical specialty boards:

  • Medical Licensure (Professionalism)
  • CME, Self-Assessment, & Patient Safety (Lifelong Learning)
  • Quarterly Questions (Assessment)
  • Improvement in Medical Practice

Assessing & Developing the Core Competencies

ABO Continuing Certification activities address six core competencies integral to the delivery of high-quality patient care. These competencies were co-developed by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Supporting ophthalmologists’ continued development in these competencies is the goal of Continuing Certification.

Competency Description

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Investigate and evaluate patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve practice.

Patient Care and Procedural Skills

Care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective treatment for health problems and to promote health.

Medical Knowledge

Knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences and their application in patient care.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and professional associates.

Systems-Based Practice

Awareness of, and responsibility to, systems of health care. Able to call on system resources to provide optimal care.


Carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to diverse patient populations.