At the annual meeting of the American Optometric Association (AOA), members voted Friday 1,126 to 887 in favor of establishing the American Board of Optometry (ABO) as the entity to develop and implement the framework for board certification and maintenance of certification.
The AOA is one of six optometric organizations that formed the Joint Board Certification Project Team (JBCPT) in 2007 to examine the issue of optometric board certification and propose a model for certification and maintenance of certification that is attainable, credible and defensible.
“Our members’ actions Friday indicate that optometrists see the need for a mechanism to clearly demonstrate continued competency to patients, legislators and payers,” said Randy Brooks, O.D., president of the AOA. “The creation of the American Board of Optometry will provide a unified national platform to establish and demonstrate competency and value and will position our profession solidly for the future.”
The approval process of certification includes board certification and maintenance of certification for optometry and authorizes the AOA to participate in the development, formation, implementation and governance of the American Board of Optometry (ABO) and will give the ABO the authority to officially develop the model for board certification.
“The AOA wishes to thank every delegate for their participation in the discussions surrounding board certification,” said Dr. Brooks. “We are pleased with the adoption of the motion and we will continue to monitor changes and developments in health care reform. Our association is committed to remaining at the forefront of health care and looks forward to optometrists continuing to provide high quality, accessible eye care for all Americans.”
Formal adoption of this resolution is subject to final action by the AOA’s Judicial Council.
Comments: I was honored to be a delegate in the AOA HOD when the final vote made history for the profession of optometry. Board certification and MOC will allow us to continue to demonstrate how well optometrists serve their patients with consistent, high quality eye and vision care. Optometry is the one and only primary eye care provider to the nation. Our patients already know this....now the public, governmental bodies, third party payors and others will also know this as well. DM