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Highlights from the ABO Councilor’s Report

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

K. David Epley, MD, American Board of Ophthalmology Director and ABO Councilor to the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The ABO has been working hard to become more transparent to the public and to our diplomates. We are pleased to report that we achieved the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar (now Candid), their highest rating earned by less than 0.1% of nonprofit organizations. The Platinum Seal demonstrates that the organization is focused on measuring and sharing our progress and results.

Measuring and sharing has been a topic of much conversation at the ABO Board level recently as we try to reinvent Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to be more purposeful and less punitive. Measuring outcomes is one of the best ways the ABO can ensure that we fulfill our mission to “serve the public by certifying ophthalmologists through the verification of competencies.” One of the big changes we’ve made to move in this direction is to develop the Quarterly Questions (QQ) program, which allows the board to measure your knowledge which simultaneously allowing you to learn from the process. We have aligned the assessment and learning outcomes of the Quarterly Questions program to enable diplomates to meet 3 of 4 MOC requirements with one activity. We have also added support through personal outreach and an individualized certificate extension policy for those nearing their recertification deadline.

We continue to reach out to you as diplomates through this Diplomate Digest, but also through experience group sessions across the country and at regional and national meetings, and we’ve established liaisons with each of the subspecialty societies to help guide in keeping the Quarterly Questions program current and meaningful to the practicing physician.

We have partnered with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to host sessions on MOC at the Annual Meeting’s Learning Lounge, to present courses on passing the board exams and to highlight important articles in the literature from the past year. We have partnered with the AAO to provide MOC credit for completing designated CME activities, and to give diplomates CME credit for completing Quarterly Questions.

We have partnered with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to give diplomates access to CME Finder ( which hosts an expanding list of educational activities for CME that are marked for ABO MOC credit in Patient Safety, Self-Assessment, Lifelong Learning, and Improvement in Medical Practice.

The ABO staff and board understand that MOC is confusing and can be frustrating. Under the guidance of CEO George Bartley, MD, we have adopted the philosophy of ensuring that MOC has meaningful activities that demonstrate the aspirational goal of making oneself a better physician and surgeon, but with purposeful activities and programs that allow for professional growth and patient safety while minimizing the burden on busy practitioners. We continue to be open to ideas and suggestions, so feel free to reach out to us if you have something to say.


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