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Survey: Set the Knowledge Standards for Board Certified Ophthalmologists

The ABO invites you to complete the following surveys to update the knowledge standards used to assess board certified ophthalmologists. These surveys are the first of many planned Co-Design Activities in which your input will be used to construct the certification program of the future.

From a best practices standpoint, conducting a Job Analysis Survey helps the Board to validate the importance, criticality, and relevance of core and subspecialty ophthalmic knowledge areas. Participating in these surveys enables you to have direct input on the design of future assessments and examinations.

Please read on for detailed survey information and instructions. As a small token of our appreciation for your time, the first 1500 participants to complete each survey will be invited to claim a $5 Starbucks gift card.


For 100 years, board certification has remained the only peer-developed and professionally recognized credential for the demonstration of expertise in a medical specialty. Certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology represents professional achievement of the highest standard for physicians who specialize in the practice of ophthalmology.

ABO certification processes align with certification industry best practices, such as those found in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Conducting a Job Analysis Survey helps to ensure the validity of Board assessments, such as the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) and the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) Examination, as well as examination alternatives currently in development.

Your survey responses will help to assure that exam content reflects the specific knowledge and skills required to function as a safe and effective ophthalmologist, both at the time of initial board certification and throughout professional practice.


The Job Analysis Survey is two parts, each of which will ask you to consider exam content from a different perspective.

Part 1: The Entry-Level Ophthalmologist The first survey will ask you to reflect on the knowledge required of an ophthalmologist who is just entering the workforce. What does the new professional need to know from day one? With this in mind, you will be asked to review the current Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) Content Outline and rate the level of importance of each task listed in each domain with regard to safe and effective entry-level practice. (See definitions below.) The rating scale ranges from a zero, which constitutes little or no importance, to a 3, which indicates the task is critically important.

Part 2: The Experienced Ophthalmologist Next, you will be asked to consider the knowledge required of the practicing ophthalmologist. What are the most important things you see and do every day? What do you expect your peers to know in order to practice in a safe and effective manner? You will be asked to analyze the current Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) Examination Content Outline and rate the level of importance of each task listed in each Core domain area with regard to safe and effective ophthalmic practice. Then, based on your indicated area of practice focus, you will be asked to repeat the exercise for the domains within your subspecialty.

Survey Details

  • These surveys cover the entirety of two content outlines and may take 30+ minutes to complete.

  • While the survey is mobile friendly, you may find it easier to enter your responses on a computer due to its length.

  • A Starbucks reward code will be emailed to the first 1500 survey respondents

Important Definitions

In these surveys, you will encounter the following terms:

  • Content Outline: The blueprint for distributing relevant and appropriate exam content.

  • Domain: A heading within the Content Outline which addresses a broad content or subject area.

  • Task: Specifies an objective within a domain.

  • Entry-Level Ophthalmologist: For the purposes of this survey, an entry-level ophthalmologist is one who meets the basic education, training, and licensure requirements to begin the initial certification process.

  • Experienced Ophthalmologist: For the purposes of this survey, an experienced ophthalmologist is a board certified ophthalmologist who has been in practice for at least 5 years.


The survey closes April 14.

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