Check out this link: http://www.kmkoptometryboardcertification.com/index.php
They are not talking about what you think they are talking about.
Wesley S. Scott, MBA, ABOM, NCLE-AC
Prior to the first ABO examination in June 2011, we helped over 450 doctors prepare for the board certification test.
Since 2005, we have helped over 6000 optometry students prepare for NBEO Part 1 and Part 2 Optometry Board Examinations.
For NBEO board exams, we offer courses at the majority of optometry schools nationwide. We offer 19 courses yearly, with enrollment exceeding 1200 students annually.
Last year, over 85% of 3rd year optometry students nationwide took a KMK board exam review course!
I don't think you really know what this is about. In a nutshell...the AOA (along with some other entities) began a push for "Board Certification" within optometry. Their claim was that it was to keep optometrists on insurance panels. It was presented almost in a scare tactic. The problem with it is that there exists no official "board", and the title of "board certified" should not be used because it makes no difference if one optometrist has the title or not. It does not change one's skills or knowledge (especially among recent graduates).
The way I see it, is that you have to follow the money trail. There is a cost for the test. There is a cost for the review courses. There is a cost for maintaining credits. This is in addition to already having the traditional CE courses, and also after already passing the traditional NBEO exams...
For the record, there is controversy over optometric board certification. (For those that don't realize...optometry has it's own ABO). On that I will agree, but I disagree with ophntz's point of view. This is how I see it. I'll try to be factual, but I'm sure my opinions will come through.
Optometry was the only doctorate level, drug prescribing profession that did not have a board certification and maintenance of certification process on a national level. Unlike in ophthalmology, for example, an optometrist can pass their national boards upon graduation, and essentially practice for forty years without ever showing evidence of recertification. Normally, board certified doctors recertify every ten years, while showing evidence of a good amount of CE, self assessment-modules and practice performance modules during each ten year period. If I were a patient, I would expect that the doctor treating my glaucoma is required to recertify every ten years.
Optometry's ABO process is voluntary. It is not linked to licensure so it does not usurp the power of the state boards. It mirrors the process of the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) which certifies most physicians. While optometry mirrors medicine in many ways, there are some differences, admittedly, but the ABO process fits in the evolutionary process of the profession, from ... trade school, to a four year college program, to an eight year college program, to a doctorate degree, to participation under medicare as physicians, to residency programs, and now board certification and maintenance of certification.
The concern among the various organizations in optometry, (namely, the AOA, NBEO, ASCO, AOSA, and a few others) was that optometry could not qualify for certain criteria outlined in various CMS (medicare) policies. (sorry about all the alphabet soup...). And in the eyes of medicare, optometrists are physicians and therefore need to be mindful of meeting the criteria set forth for physicians.
Optometry's ABO process is new. Only a few have begun to participate. It remains to be seen if it catches on like other certifications in optometry such as the AAO, or COVD. To portray it as a money grab is disingenuous. It is not the first certifying group within optometry, and probably won't be the last. In fact, the AOS, which denounces optometry's ABO, has formed its own certifying organization.
Some in optometry say, "we are a specialty" other say, "we are not". Some say our training doesn't compare to that received in a typical medical residency. This is irrelevant in my mind. Each profession needs to develop its own standards. Some don't want to submit to extra tests and courses, some don't mind. Some view it as a learning experience, some view it as a drain or a money grab.
As we've seen right here within the pages of Optiboard, there are hundreds of "reasons" why people resist standards, education, certifications, etc. Everybody is afraid that their competition will have "one up on them". Others don't want to spend the time or money. When medicine sets high standards it is considered to be scholarly, worthy, valued...but when we do it, we are made out to be deceptive, cheaters, and money grubbing.
C'est la vie...
Last edited by fjpod; 03-30-2012 at 06:43 AM.
ABO = another silly/expensive piece of paper to hang on the wall. Why do I always kick, moan, then open my checkbook. Must be a character flaw in me.
90% of everything is crap...except for crap, because crap is 100% crap
It will be necessary as Optometry advances, specialization will be a natural result, and a board certification is the only to have specialization.
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy ~Benjamin Franklin
To keep the record straight, optometrys ABO is a certification in general optometry, which includes a great deal of medical eye treatment these days. While we often refer to specialties as CLs, low vision, vision therapy, primary care (i.e. therapeutics) etc., there are no officially recognized certifiable specialties in optometry. the AOA House of Delegates trounced this idea some ten years ago.
things can change. Things evolve and they should.
You're right about what specialty board certification is designed for.
Unfortunately, the AOA's Board Certification endeavor was to make us look good to insurers and governmental payors and accrediting bodies. Its need is very controversial. Its implementation was even more controversial (think Obamacare).
Just for discussion, why do you think optometry needs board certification? Let's take "older" OD's out of the equation (the one's who only yield direct ophthalmoscopes)...those are the one's who really need it.
As primary care, honestly what would differentiate a "board certified" vs "non-board certified" optometrist. Are your skills any better? Do you flip the JCC any better? Does your slip lamp skills exceed mine? For day to day "primary care", the beaten path consists of glaucoma, diabetes, ARMD, dry eye, allergies, cataracts, a few corneal dystrophies, and not much else. All the trade magazines beat dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction, and allergies to death. The process consists of more "screening" devices...a great example is for MGD...it's hard enough getting patients to do ocusoft lid scrubs...yet all of these new devices come out.
Glaucoma hasn't changed...the meds are the same. Sure maybe some new combination drugs, but no breakthroughs. OCT would be the newest thing. The protocal for determining a suspect remains the same...as does follow-up care, and when to refer.
My opinion would differ if there wasn't the money that is involved. If the review coursed were free and part of AOA membership, it may be worthwhile. If new techniques were taught...but it isn't the case.
I been around many years and I honestly can say, I know a couple good, trustworthy ODs.
*Please do not assume anything I say is fact. You must verify my comments before forming an opinion of validity. Please know I have not the wherewithal to insult anyone. Never, never take offense. I mean none. Always with a smile.
Greetings. I’m unsure of the protocol for one’s first post but I figure I ought to at least introduce myself. My name is Charlie McBride and I’m a practicing optometrist in Beaverton, Oregon. I practice alongside Robert Wagner, a fantastic optician who is a member of this community. I’m on the board of directors for the American Optometric Society.
I’d like to apologize to my optician colleagues for the confusing postcard that stated in part “98% of optometrists say ‘No Thanks’ to ABO Certification”. As mentioned in previous posts, this was in reference to the American Board of Optometry, not the American Board of Opticianry. Although the postcard was sent only to optometrists, in hindsight, it would have been wiser to state that 98% of optometrists say “no thanks” to a pseudo board certification program like the American Board of Optometry.
The American Optometric Society (AOS) was formed in the fall of 2009 to give optometrists a voice in response to the what many felt was a rigged vote in the 2009 AOA House of Delegates (HOD) to form the ABO (optometry’s version). Forgive me in the sake of brevity for referring to it going forward, just for now, as the ABO. Although it was a legal vote, it was clear that a vast majority of optometrists were opposed, and yet it was passed.
Optometry doesn’t shy away from change and the profession collectively has adopted changes in the past as we have progressed. The ABO was different, as it never gained the support of those that make up the profession. A nearly identical program was initiated over a decade ago. Just like back then, fear and scare tactics were used to justify its creation and it was overturned.
One of the reasons optometrists by and large don’t support the ABO is that what it is calling “board certification” is nothing of the sort. In the broad profession of medicine, there is nearly always a need to specialize. Board certification is a measure of training and expertise that goes beyond what is required for licensure, ie ophthalmology. Optometry is in and of itself a profession. The ABO isn’t offering a program of certification that goes beyond licensure and so it isn’t at all the same thing as board certification, which IS a big deal. In any case, the AOS/ABO lawsuit goes to trial in July where the AOS will demonstrate to the court that the ABO’s incorrect use of the term “board certification” is misleading to the public. That will pretty much end this nonsense in my opinion.
I’d like to clear up one misconception by a previous poster. The AOS doesn’t have its own board certification program and never did. One of the founders of the AOS (Art Epstein, OD, FAAO) left the AOS board in 2010 to independently create another board certification program in an effort to thwart the ABO. It was a defensive maneuver and an effective one. It said to optometrists: “if board certification ever DOES become necessary as a result of something like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), then there is another program in place ready to go. As such, there is no reason for anyone to feel any urgency to rush out and sign up for the faux ABO out of fear. To this end the AOS supports this alternative board (the ABCO), but to date there is not a single director on the AOS board that supports general board certification for optometrists. -Charlie
Charles McBride, O.D.
Thank you Dr. McBride. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Charlie, Welcome to Optiboard. I could'nt have stated my thoughts on this matter any better than your thread. Walter
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