1. Application: May – December

All applications received by December 31 will be reviewed for completeness. If an application is incomplete the applicant will be notified and provided a two-week period to submit the requested information. All completed applications will be reviewed periodically by the ABO Credentials Committee. During this review, applicants may be asked to provide additional information. Approval or denial of an application by the ABO is final and not subject to appeal. If an application is approved, the applicant cannot refer to himself/herself as Board-Eligible.

Approved applicants will be provided with an approval letter and instructions for completing the additional requirements (described in “E” and “F” of Program Requirements).

2. Additional Requirements for Approved Applicants: Must be completed prior to the next available Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) registration deadline.

Approved applicants must complete the Practice-Based Learning and Improvement and Systems-Based Practice “E” and “F”, as listed in Program Requirements, prior to the next available Written Qualifying Examination (WQE) registration deadline.

3. Final Approval

Applicants who successfully complete the application and additional requirements will be sent information to register for the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE). Candidates who successfully complete the WQE and the Oral Examination will become Diplomates of the American Board of Ophthalmology. A 10 year, time-limited certificate will be provided, and individuals will need to participate in the Continuing Certification process to maintain their certification. Diplomates who obtain ABO Certification via the ITO pathway will be publicly identified as ABO-certified in the same manner as all ABO diplomates.

4. Time Limit to Obtain Board Certification

Participants in the ITO Program must obtain Board Certification within seven (7) years from the approval of their ITO application. To achieve Board Certification, participants must complete the Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Systems-Based Practice E and F, as listed above, and then take the Written Qualifying Examination (WQE). Once they pass the WQE, they can sit for the Oral Examination. Participants who were approved for the program before 2023 will have an additional three (3) years to complete the certification process in its entirety. However, after this time, participants are no longer permitted to pursue Board Certification and cannot reapply for the ITO program.