The American Board of Ophthalmology, founded in 1916, was the first specialty board. Now, 22 other autonomous boards are affiliated under the American Board of Medical Specialties. Each board determines its own policies, procedures, and examination techniques. During our board's 66-year existence, 13,564 certificates have been issued; currently, an estimated 10,500 board-certified ophthalmologists are active fellows of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. These data indicate that 80% of all ophthalmologists who were ever certified still practice. Approximately 550 colleagues achieve certification annually, a figure that has remained constant for a number of years. Approximately 85% of the candidates qualified to sit for the examinations are successful in gaining the board's certificate.
The directors of the board are obligated to provide each candidate a fair and comprehensive examination. Moreover, the board must stay abreast of the times, which requires that alterations be made now and then in procedures, rules, and bylaws.
American Board of OphthalmologyInnovations for the First Medical Specialty Board. Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(2):201. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040010203002