As a patient, you play a key role in managing and advocating for your eye and vision care needs. To help you become a more informed patient, the American Board of Ophthalmology has compiled the following list of resources where you can find additional information to help you select a qualified ophthalmologist or learn about various types of conditions and procedures. Please note that the websites below are not sponsored by the American Board of Ophthalmology and the Board is not responsible for their content.
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
The umbrella organization for the 24 recognized medical specialty boards in the United States, ABMS assists certification boards in developing and implementing uncompromising professional standards for doctors. Their Certification Matters website is designed for patients and their loved ones to learn about Board Certification and its importance to quality care. The ABMS also provides patients with consumer health care tips and external patient resources.
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
The Federation of State Medical Boards supports state licensing entities in licensing, disciplining, and regulating physicians and other healthcare professionals in the name of patient safety. Through FSMB’s physician directory, DocInfo, patients can gather information about a physician's educational background and license status, including any disciplinary actions. FSMB can also help patients learn more about filing a complaint against their physicians by providing the contact information for each state, as these are the only entities that can restrict or prevent a physician from continued practice.
Open Payments is a federal disclosure program required by the Affordable Care Act that promotes a more transparent and accountable health care system. Patients can learn more about the payments drug and device companies make to physicians and teaching hospitals for travel, research, gifts, speaking fees, and meals as well as ownership interests that physicians or their immediate family members have in these companies.
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
As the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides the public with information about eye diseases, conditions, and injuries. To add to their surplus of patient resources, the AAO’s physician search tool provides patients with the ability to search for an eye surgeon by their self-identified subspecialty focus. The AAO’s public service program, EyeCare America, also provides eligible patients with medical eye exams, often at no out-of-pocket cost.
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)
The mission of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus is to promote the highest quality medical and surgical eye care for children and for adults with strabismus. AAPOS can help patients and their loved ones learn more about their pediatric eye problems and locate a nearby pediatric ophthalmologist (a medical and surgical doctor who specializes in the eye problems of children). Their Children’s Eye Foundation launched the All Children See program to provide quality eye exams for all children (18 and under), regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.
American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists (AAOOP)
The American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists is a professional association of medical doctors who practice, teach, or engage in research in ocular oncology and ophthalmic pathology. Ocular oncology is a highly specialized branch of ophthalmology that provides medical and surgical care to patients with ocular cancers, which includes intraocular tumors, most commonly uveal melanoma in adults and retinoblastoma in children, intraocular lymphoma, metastatic cancers to the eye, other intraocular tumors, and tumors on the surface of the eye, most commonly involving the conjunctiva. Ophthalmic pathology (also known as eye pathology or ocular pathology) is a highly specialized branch of the medical laboratory specialty pathology, which involves gross and microscopic examination and diagnosis of eyes and ocular adnexal tissues that are removed surgically (biopsies) or post-mortem.
American College of Surgeons (FACS)
The American College of Surgeons provides information designed to help patients understand common surgical procedures. Resources include home skills kits to prepare patients for surgical care once they leave the hospital. There is also an online “Find a Surgeon” search tool available.
American Glaucoma Society (AGS)
The American Glaucoma Society is comprised of glaucoma specialists -- eye surgeons who specialize in the treatment of glaucoma and have gone through fellowship (post-residency) training under the guidance of a glaucoma specialist preceptor -- dedicated to sharing clinical and scientific information. They can help patients find a local glaucoma specialist and provide patient resources about various glaucoma conditions and treatment options. The AGS Foundation also supports the public service program, AGS Cares, that provides surgical glaucoma care at no cost to uninsured or underserved patients who qualify.
American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS)
The American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery serves anterior segment surgeons (eye doctors that specialize in the front-most region of the eye, including the cornea, iris and lens). The ASCRS Foundation delivers humanitarian eye care to patients who need it most in the United States and abroad. Operation Sight, the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S. based charitable cataract surgery program, serves financially vulnerable, uninsured Americans who cannot afford or access care.
American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS)
The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest organization of surgeons dedicated exclusively to the eyes and face. They can help patients find local eye surgeons that specialize in oculofacial plastic surgery. ASOPRS members are board-certified ophthalmologists who have completed advanced training in eyelid, orbit, tear duct system and facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)
The American Society of Retina Specialists is the largest organization of retina specialists (board-certified eye surgeons with advanced training in the treatment of vitreoretinal diseases) in the world. The Foundation of ASRS can help patients find a nearby retina specialist and offers patient resources, including fact sheets for many unique retinal conditions. They can also offer guidance to patients that are struggling to afford the out-of-pocket copay costs for the prescription drugs needed for treatment.
American Uveitis Society (AUS)
The mission of the American Uveitis Society is to share knowledge regarding uveitis and promote related research. They provide patients with a directory of AUS members, who are eye surgeons with advanced training and a special, specific interest in uveitis, and who have become proficient in the diagnosis and management of patients with uveitis and other ocular inflammatory diseases. Uveitis refers to a group of inflammatory diseases of the eye, responsible for up to 20% of all blindness.
Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO)
The objective of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology is the promotion of medical education, research, and patient care in ophthalmology. AUPO provides patients with a list of their member institutions (teaching hospitals or academic medical centers with a dedicated department or division of ophthalmology).
North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS)
The North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society is dedicated to achieving excellence in the care of patients with neuro-ophthalmic diseases. Neuro-ophthalmology, a subspecialty of both neurology and ophthalmology, requires specialized training and expertise in problems of the eye, brain, nerves, and muscles. NANOS can help patients find a nearby neuro-ophthalmologist and provides detailed information about a variety of neuro-ophthalmic conditions.