On August 2nd, 2012, Judge A. Howard Matz ruled in favor of the ABO (American Board of Optometry) in their defense against the AOS (American Optometric Society).
A major decision has been made affecting the state of board certification in optometry. In my previous article detailing the past and present of board certification, I asked what kind of impact this issue may have in the profession, and what direction it might take in the near future. The false advertising lawsuit brought on by the American Optometric Society (AOS) against the American Board of Optometry (ABO) has recently been ruled on in favor of the ABO. The AOS asserted that the ABOs use of the term “board certification” is misleading and confusing to the public, but the court ruled otherwise. For more details on this case, please reference my previous article (listed above) and its’ comments and links provided. This ruling has steered board certification and the ABO back on track, allowing them to proceed as they had been before the lawsuit was presented.
The true test will be seen in the reaction of the thousands of optometrists across the country. Now that the ABO has won this case, will larger numbers of optometrists turn out to become board certified under the ABO, or will this not change their feeling on the matter? Will more and more health care plans require an optometrist to be board certified through the ABO in order to participate in their coverage? How do you think this affects the future of optometry?
Here is a message from AOA President Ronald Hopping on this recent ruling. Click here for the full statement.
“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.
Additionally, the press release from the ABO: http://www.aoa.org/documents/ABO_Wins_Lawsuit.pdf
As of Monday night, I have yet to find any reaction or statement from the AOS, but I will keep you posted if anything comes up (and do the same yourselves!). If anyone has anymore information on the subject, please feel free to contribute in the comments below.