John Clarkson, M.D., executive director for the American Board of Ophthalmology has been serving the board for the last 10 years and has been a diplomat of the organization for over 40. During an interview with Clarkson, we learned how the board was formed and the importance of continuous certification for our doctors today.
History of the board of Ophthalmology
In the early 1900’s, a group of ophthalmologists came together after noticing inconsistencies in the education and training of physicians in the specialty. To improve patient care, the group formed a joint committee in order to self-regulate the practice of philology through higher standards. This led to what we know today as the American Board of Ophthalmology. In 1992 a time-limited certification process was developed by the committee, and that certification has evolved into our continuous certification. Today there are over 10,000 board certified ophthalmologists participating in the continuous certification process.
“The importance of the continuous certification is to keep up with the changes in health, knowledge, and medicine for the best patient care possible.” Clarkson says, “Doctors take pretests and posttests for retaining information. Afterward, the doctor’s practice and assess new techniques to see if the changes in practice have made a difference in the patients care.”
Many ophthalmologists have a sub-specialty in their practice. Whether it is in children’s eye care, glaucoma, retinal disease or the many other specialties, our certified ophthalmologists need to continue education in their specialty areas as well. This is why the continuous certification exams are geared towards the special focus of the ophthalmologist.
Exam content is developed by passionate volunteers of the board. John explains, “The American board could not do what it does without the volunteers dedicated to this profession. We have over 500 volunteers that help with the exam process.”
The Board’s continuous certification program further iterates the assurance of quality service by selecting board certified ophthalmologists for your care. Find out if your physician board certified by going to abop.org in the verify a physician section.
Fichte Endl and Elmer Eye Care proudly supports the American Board of Ophthalmology. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 1-800-309-2020.