1. Your certificate is still the only recognized credential for expertise in ophthalmology. For patients, there has never been more information--nor confusion--involved in choosing a physician. Web searches turn up thousands of results. Patient ratings are often unverified. Medical licensure stops short of confirming specialty focus. So where can patients turn for reliable information? In large numbers, they come to the Board website or call the Board Office to research their options.
2. Peer-developed standards help keep external regulation in check. It's hard to argue with a minimum standard of excellence. And although certification can't eliminate all government programs, it can help to satisfy requirements established by state and federal regulators. In some states, for example, you can substitute your Board exam for the general re-licensure examination, or count the credits you've earned over the course of maintaining your certification toward re-licensure. Practice improvement activities completed as part of MOC also appear on MACRA's list of qualified QPP activities and can help you accumulate points faster.
3. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. America's first board certified doctors were 10 trailblazing ophthalmologists who answered the profession's call for higher standards. Other medical specialty boards were created based on ophthalmology's successful model, and many other professions have since followed suit by establishing professional credentialing programs based on peer standards.
4. Certification proves we're as good as we think we are. It's hard to remain objective when we rate ourselves. Sometimes it's helpful to look at our performance in the context of community-developed standards in order to grow as practitioners. Achieving certification, and successfully maintaining it, assures ourselves and others that we're up to date in ophthalmic knowledge and performing at a high level of practice.
5. You've earned this! Your certificate is more than a piece of paper. It's a promise--to yourself and your patients--to strive for practice excellence through professional achievement.
Click over to the Co-Design Page to learn how you can protect your professional achievement by helping to build the next generation of certification programs.