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Certification Statistics

Board Certification Data

The American Board of Ophthalmology welcomes new diplomates after the administration of each Oral Examination. Diplomates are certified for a 10-year period, and may be recertified for an additional 10 years upon completion of Maintenance of Certification. The table below reflects the number of diplomates certified and recertified each year.

Year Certified Total Recertified (through MOC)
2020 79 **    __
2019 528
1,050
2018 571 562*
2017 501 897
2016 442 885

*Approximately 200 additional diplomates received a one-year extension of their certificates in order to complete the Quarterly Questions assessment program for Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

** The in-person 2020 Oral Examination has been converted to four online administrations. This number will continue to increase through November 2020.

Certification Exams

Statistics from the previous five years of board certification examination administrations are listed below. The Board has administered certification examinations since 1916. To date, the ABO has held 237 initial certification examinations and certified 32,006 ophthalmologists.

Written Qualifying Examination (WQE)

Year Total Candidates 1st Time Takers 1st Time Takers
Passed
Repeat Takers Repeat Takers
Passed
Overall Passed Overall Failed
2019B 498 419 405 (96.7%) 79 31 (39.2%) 436 (87.6%) 62 (12.4%)
2019A 538 465 460 (98.9%) 73 25 (34.2%) 485 (90.1%) 53 (9.9%)
2018 658 490 456 (93.1%) 168 68 (40.5%) 524 (79.6%) 134 (20.4%)
2017 645 494 438 (88.7%) 151 64 (42.4%) 502 (77.8%) 143 (22.2%)
2016 665 501 437 (87.2%) 164 58 (35.4%) 495 (74.4%) 170 (25.6%)
2015 632 460 416 (90.4%) 172  64 (37.2%)  480 (75.9%) 152 (24.1%) 

Oral Examination

Year Total Candidates 1st Time Takers 1st Time Takers
Passed
Repeat Takers Repeat Takers
Passed
Overall Passed Overall Failed
2020C 186 147 109 (74.2%) 39 27 (69.2%) 136 (73.1%) 50 (26.9%)
2020B 171 143 110 (76.9% ) 28 19 (67.9%) 129 (75.4%) 42 (24.6%)
2020A 102 87 68 (78.2%) 15 11 (73.3%) 79 (77.5%) 23 (22.6%)
2019F 379 336 263 (78.3%) 43 33 (76.7%) 296 (78.1%) 83 (21.9%)
2019S 282 226 194 (85.8%) 56 38 (67.9%) 232 (82.3%) 50 (17.7%)
2018F 338 292 249 (85.3%) 46 35 (76%) 284 (84%) 54 (16%)
2018S 335 277 242 (87.4%) 58 45 (77.6%) 287 (85.7%) 48 (14.3%)
2017F 292 225 187 (83.1%) 67 53 (79.1%) 240 (82.2%) 52 (17.8%)
2017S 337 274 220 (80.3%) 63 41 (65.1%) 261 (77.4%) 76 (22.6%)
2016F 290 199 155 (77.9%) 91 65 (71.4%) 220 (75.9%) 70 (24.1%)
2016S 312 262 190 (72.5%)  50 32 (64%)  222 (71.2%)  90 (28.8%)