The Standard Application
Applicants are solely responsible for submitting one complete application [applicant should retain copy in the event of delivery failure] including non-refundable fees 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. Such residency training program must be affiliated with a school or college of optometry, medicine or osteopathy but the training site need not be based at the affiliated academic body or its campus.
- Official transcript showing applicant’s passage of the specialty examination Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (or equivalent) offered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. Note: Applicants can use the NBEO online Score Request Form to have encoded official ACMO scores transmitted to ABCMO. Click here for more information.
- Valid copy of current state license to practice optometry, with highest therapeutic endorsements available in the state of practice of the applicant (or state 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 and the residency director of its affiliated educational facility.
- 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. Note: Applicants may request the required self report (Self-Query) from the National Practitioner Data Bank.
- Documented significant practice of medical optometry for a minimum of two years immediately prior to application for certification. (Defined as minimum of two days per week). A consecutive log of 100 patients listing diagnosis and treatment may be required and an inspection of the practice site may be required.) This requirement is waived for the two-years immediately following residency training.
- Appear for a personal interview or visitation of practice site as required.
- Valid copy of O.D. degree from an accredited North American school or college of optometry.
- Signed waiver authorizing the Corporation to make all appropriate inquires needed to verify the validity of documents or statements furnished by applicant. Click here for the ABCMO Release of Information Authorization Form (PDF)
- Comprehensive CV of applicant’s professional preparation, training and experience.
Standard Application – Notes
All applications must also include a cover letter summarizing the applicant’s credentials, practice experience, and complete personal and office contact information (postal and e-mail) at which they will receive communications from the Corporation. To insure privacy, applications are to be submitted via USPS. Applicants are solely responsible for ensuring the completeness of their applications, submission of the required documents and payment of fees due payable by a check payable to ABCMO.
The corporation shall not release, or share, an individual’s application information with any external body or individuals other than those comprising the Board’s 3-member 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.
Applicants currently on the medical staff of a facility having a credentialing committee may be held to have furnished clear copies of License, Certificate of Residency Completion, O.D. Degree, State License(s) and self-query of the NPDB by a letter of confirmation from their credentialing committee stating said License, Certificate of Residency Completion, O.D. Degree, State License(s) and NPDB report have been reviewed and found current and valid by the Credentialing Committee.
Letters of recommendation shall be signed originals.
It is entirely the responsibility of applicants to fully comply with the above criteria and transmit a complete application to the corporation’s Secretary and to include both home and office postal addresses, home and office telephone numbers, and home and office email addresses at which they wish to receive communications from the corporation. Applicants become eligible for being awarded certification once they have furnished a complete application and inspection by the Secretary determines it is valid and complete and all applicant fees have been forwarded.
Applicants can use the NBEO online Score Request Form to have encoded official ACMO scores transmitted to ABCMO. Click here for more information.
Applicants may request the required self report (Self-Query) from the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Applicants can use the ABCMO Release of Information Authorization Form for the waiver required in item 10 above.
Special Applications on Merit
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 on a case-by-case basis, for ABCMO certification, if the applicant applies and can 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 (see www.nbeo.org);
- 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; or
- 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 Applications on Merit – 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.
Those certified by the Special Application on Merit program are eligible to join the American College of Medical Optometry with full membership benefits including standing for election as an officer of the College and are subject to the Maintenance of Certification program unless they are not a licensed O.D.
Mailing Address and Fees
Current application fees are $225 for those meeting all requirements for eligibility and $300 for Special Applications for Merit. Application fees are non-refundable.
Please make check payable to “ABCMO” and mail only completed applications to:
Attn: Application for Certification
18683 Milton Ave
Big Rapids, MI 49307