What does an ophthalmologist do?
An ophthalmologist has the knowledge and professional skills needed to
provide comprehensive eye and vision care for patients of all ages.
Opthalmologists are medically trained to diagnose, monitor, and medically or
surgically treat all ocular and visual disorders.
How can I find out if my ophthalmologist
is Board Certified?
Members of the public* can find out whether an ophthalmologist is certified by
the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) by utilizing one of the following
- Call or write the Board at:
American Board of Ophthalmology
111 Presidential Boulevard, Suite 241
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1075
- Refer to the publication,The
Official American Board of Medical Specialties Directory of Board
Certified Medical Specialists (ABMS). This publication of Marquis
Who's Who can be found in regional, main or medical libraries.
- Use the
ABMS web page.
- Verify the certification of any medical
specialist certified by one of the 24 medical specialty boards of the
ABMS by calling 1-866-ASK-ABMS (275-2267).
*Except those seeking information for
How do I find a particular specialist or
the qualifications of my own physician?
The ABO, as a certification body, is able to respond to any inquiry from the
public about certification and the certification process. However, it is not
within the purview of the ABO to recommend an ophthalmologist or to comment on
general eye care, surgical procedures or techniques. Information of this sort
can be found by contacting a local teaching hospital in your area. If you cannot
locate a teaching hospital in your area, call the ABO office at 610-664-1175.
How can I find out an
ophthalmologist's status with the ABO?
Although the ABO cannot issue statements of "eligibility" for its examinations,
it can state whether a physician is or is not certified.
How can I find a particular
While the ABO cannot give specific information about a doctor's location, this
information is available in publications such as The Official American Board of
Medical Specialties Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists (ABMS) or
the American Academy of Ophthalmology's
www.aao.org Member Directory.
Can I register a complaint regarding a
The appropriate way to register your concerns is to write to the County Medical
Society in the county where the doctor practices. The ABO is not an
investigatory agency. It examines doctors who have successfully completed an
approved course of education, but has no regulative or punitive powers.
What are the educational requirements
for a physician to become Board Certified?
Certification by the ABO is a voluntary process, and is the last step in a long
and intensive educational experience designed to assure quality eye care for the
American people. Please refer to the
After successfully completing these requirements, a candidate may sit for the
Board certification process.
The Board certification process includes two
The certification application and
requires a minimum of one and one-half to two years to complete, during which
time the candidate is usually in clinical practice or in a fellowship program
acquiring advanced training in one of the subspecialties of Ophthalmology.