Hopping urges ODs to move forward after favorable ABO ruling

August 3, 2012

AOA President Ronald Hopping, O.D., MPH, issued a statement in response to the ruling in favor of the American Board of Optometry (ABO) in the false advertising lawsuit brought by the American Optometric Society (AOS).

“As you will note the judge ruled in favor of the ABO. This ruling is seen as support for the six forward-thinking professional organizations (ASCO, AAO, ARBO, AOSA, NBEO and the AOA) who saw the need for board certification for our profession and who designed and recommended the board certification program to the ABO. I compliment those optometrists who voluntarily serve as ABO leaders for their successful defense of optometric board certification.

“I think the next steps our profession takes are critical. As I said in my acceptance speech, ‘I am proud of this House, and the other associations in this profession, for making a proactive decision (supporting board certification). Now we have much bigger challenges ahead of us. We can wallow in this board certification turmoil while the rest of the world moves forward or, if we are going to be successful, we can move on. We must move on. We have much bigger challenges ahead of us.’

“Following this clear judicial ruling, I ask for your help in turning a new page for our profession, and for your help in healing our profession. I welcome the participation of every optometrist in moving our profession forward. Our future now depends on what we all do together,” Dr. Hopping said.

Other organizations also offered statements:

ASCO President David Heath, O.D., said, “As ASCO is one of the founding organizations of the ABO, committed to the development of a professional and valid board certification program for the profession, I am gratified that the decision of the court was so clear.  This is truly a transformative decision, which helps optometry to move forward as an integral partner in the greater health care system. I sincerely hope this decision will allow all members of our profession to move the conversation and the process forward with civility and unity.”

Past AOA and ASCO President Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D., said, “Optometry’s board certification process grew from the Optometry 2020 Summits; was conceptualized by the Joint Board Certification Project Team made up of six organizations; was discussed in countless meetings and blogs in all 50 states; was endorsed by the AOA House of Delegates and the governing bodies of other major organizations; and, finally has been reaffirmed by a federal judge following a court challenge. Now is the time for everyone to embrace change as optometry approaches health care reform with credentialing tools equal to other professions.”

AOA News is awaiting comment from the AOSA, AAO and NBEO.

One comment

  1. The result of this step forward will continue to insure parity with other clinical doctorate health care providers for the future of our profession. Thank you form your perseverance.

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