ABOp Certification for Internationally Trained Ophthalmologists

Posted: 07/12/2021
Category: General News

As increasing numbers of internationally-trained-ophthalmologists join academic ophthalmology and/or neurology departments in the United States, NANOS would like to make you aware of the expectations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Review Committee (RC) for Ophthalmology.

All faculty members of ACGME accredited ophthalmology residencies must be board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABOp) or the American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, or have specialty qualifications that are acceptable to the RC. The RC will consider the qualifications of internationally-trained- ophthalmologists to serve as a faculty member. Importantly, the RC expects internationally trained ophthalmologist faculty members to enter the ABOp Internationally Trained Ophthalmology (ITO) certification program once eligible.

Per the ABOp, eligibility requirements for ITOs include:

  1. Valid and unrestricted license to practice in the US for a minimum of 5 consecutive years. An institutional license is not considered “unrestricted”.
  2. Clinical practice in the US for at least 5 consecutive years.
  3. Certificate from ECFMG.
  4. Applicants must be practicing ophthalmology and have surgical privileges.

The information related to the ABOp’s ITO certification pathway is available on the following pages:

ITO Program Page: https://abop.org/become-certified/international-training-pathway/

ITO Policy Page: https://www.manula.com/manuals/american-board-of-ophthal/abo-rules-regulations-amp-policies/1/en/topic/internationally-trained-ophthalmologists-policy

Any questions may be directed to Kathleen Quinn-Leering, RC Executive Director at the ACGME at kquinn@acgme.org or Christine Frieberg, Certification Services Coordinator at the American Board of Ophthalmology at ito@abop.org.

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