Standard Application – Requirements
Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application that documents attainment of the following:
- Completion of a full-time, ACOE (or equivalent) accredited, postgraduate clinical residency training program having major emphasis on medical optometry, of at least one year in duration located within a Joint Commission accredited medical facility. Such residency training program must be affiliated with a school or college of optometry, medicine or osteopathy but need not be based at the affiliated academic body or on its campus.
- Passage of the Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO) specialty exam offered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). Applicants should a) submit a copy of their exam results with their application and b) request NBEO send an official score report directly to ABCMO for verification purposes. Submitting scores in both manners can significantly speed up application processing time.
- Valid copy of a current state license to practice optometry, with the highest therapeutic endorsements available in the state of practice of the applicant (or state license of record assigned to employing health care facility of applicant when based within a federal health care facility).
- Letter of recommendation from immediate clinical supervisor at residency site during residency attesting to clinical competence and ethical standing during residency and/or current director of the applicant’s residency program. Letters of recommendation must include contact information of the author for verification by ABCMO.
- Valid copy of certificate of residency completion issued by residency training facility and/or certificate of completion issued by the academic affiliate at completion of residency.
- Official self-query results of applicant issued by the National Practitioner Data Bank within 3 months of date of application.
- Documented significant practice (minimum of three days per week) of medical optometry for the two years immediately prior to application for certification. This requirement is waived for applicants in the two years immediately following residency training. For those currently employed at a VA medical facility, a copy of your Clinical Privileges Document is acceptable. All others must submit a consecutive log of 100 patient encounters listing diagnosis and treatment.
- Agree to appear for an interview or visitation of practice site if requested.
- Valid copy of O.D. degree from an accredited North American school or college of optometry.
- Waiver authorizing ABCMO to make all appropriate inquires needed to verify the documents or statements furnished by the applicant. A checkbox for this is included on the online application.
- Comprehensive CV of applicant’s professional preparation, training and experience.
- All applications must also include a cover letter summarizing the applicant’s credentials, practice experience, and complete contact information.
Applicants currently on the medical staff of a facility having a credentialing committee may be held to have furnished clear copies of their State License (3 above), Certificate of Residency Completion (5 above), Self-query of the NPDB (6 above) and O.D. Degree (9 above) by providing a letter of confirmation from their credentialing committee stating said documentation has been reviewed and found current and valid by the Credentialing Committee.
Standard Application – Additional Notes
Applicants are solely responsible for ensuring the completeness of their application, submission of the required documents and payment of non-refundable application fees. Applications must contain full contact information.
ABCMO will not release, or share, an individual’s application information with any external body or individuals other than those comprising the Board’s Certification Committee, indicate to the public those who may have sought and failed to receive certification, or disclose the number of times an applicant has submitted an application.
All applicants are required to enroll in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program upon certification. Fees for this program are waived during the first 2 years after certification.
Special Application on Merit – Requirements
Some experienced optometrists who have not served residencies and/or taken the Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry examination may possess advanced competence in the specialty of medical optometry and may, with adequate documented evidence of such advanced competence, be nominated by an ABCMO certified specialist for ABCMO certification. The applicant must document some or all of the following:
- National recognition for advanced competence in medical optometry. Examples are a history of presenting lectures and/or laboratory workshops at the American Academy of Optometry or other well regarded educational meetings.
- Significant publications (articles, texts, chapters) on medical optometry in peer reviewed journals, textbooks or popular journals.
- Supervision and training of residents in medical optometry or ophthalmology while holding a faculty appointment at an optometry or medical facility holding written highest level TPA clinical privileges.
- Passage of certain written examinations. Examples are TMOD and ACMO.
- Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
- Diplomate of the Ocular Disease Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Optometry.
- Fellow of the Optometric Retina Society.
- Fellow of the Optometric Glaucoma Society.
- Certification in ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
- History of research in the medical treatment of ocular-visual disorders and/or teaching courses in such treatment.
Special Application on Merit – Additional Notes
The degree to which an applicant must meet one or more of the ten criteria listed above is at the discretion of the certification committee, based upon the strength and breath of the applicant’s overall credentials. Applicants will be required to sign a waiver authorizing the board of directors to undertake all appropriate forms of inquiry to verify their proffered credentials and site of practice as well as provide information about the type of practice in which they treat patients and/or demographic data pertaining to diagnosis and treatment of the patients they treat or the subject matter of their teaching.
The ABCMO-certified nominator of the applicant shall submit a letter stating the reasons by which s/he believes a Special Application on Merit should be offered their nominee.
All applicants are required to enroll in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program upon certification. Fees for this program are waived during the first 2 years after certification. Those without an O.D. are not required to enroll in ABCMO MOC i.e., Ophthalmologists who have their own MOC requirements, but a waiver has to be granted by the Board.
Application Review Schedule
The Board reviews applications monthly. For consideration in any given month, your completed application must be submitted before the first of that month.
July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022 – $300
January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023 – $400
January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2024 – $500
Special Application on Merit
July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022 – $400
January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023 – $500
January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2024 – $600
Application fees are non-refundable.
If you have any questions about the requirements for Specialty Certification in Medical Optometry, please ask us before submitting your application. This is particularly important with regards to the Residency and Practice requirements or if you decide to submit a Special Application on Merit.
Dr. Kenneth Myers