The Importance of Certification

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The American Board of Ophthalmology and the Public Trust

The American Board of Ophthalmology is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States. The ABO was the nation's first board established to certify medical specialists. The ABO's mission is to serve the public by certifying ophthalmologists through the verification of competencies.

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The Definition of an Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are physicians who specialize in comprehensive eye and vision care. They are the only practitioners who are medically and surgically trained to diagnose and treat the full range of disorders affecting the eye and surrounding tissues, in addition to prescribing glasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists in the United States typically have completed four years of college, four years of medical school, and four to six years of specialized training in ophthalmic diseases and surgery.

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How Board Certification Improves Patient Care

Certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology is a voluntary capstone to a long and intensive educational experience, verifying that a physician has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and experience integral to the delivery of high standards in patient care. More details about the requirements an ophthalmologist must meet in order to obtain certification can be found here. Through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), more than 900,000 physicians across 24 specialties have come together to create common standards for excellence in patient care.

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Is Your Doctor Board Certified?

To learn whether your ophthalmologist is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology:

  • Search the ABO website by clicking the "Verify a Physician" tab at the top of the page.
  • Call the American Board of Ophthalmology at 610-664-1175.
  • Use the ABMS website to verify the certification of any medical specialist certified by one of the 24 medical specialty boards or call 1-866-ASK-ABMS (275-2267).

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