OPHTHALMOLOGISTS WERE AMERICA’S FIRST BOARD CERTIFIED PHYSICIANS By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Nearly one hundred years ago, in December of 1916, the first group of pioneering eye surgeons traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in patient care. They sat for the first board certification examination of any physician specialty. Back then it was called the American Board for Ophthalmic Examinations.
The American Board of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) was not established until 1924 and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology followed in 1930. Now every medical specialty has a board certification process, but ophthalmology led the way. The name changed to the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1933.
Then, as now, not all those who undertook the process passed. Ten physicians were board certified that first year but 3 more were invited to study harder and return in another year. Since that that first examination, 30,000 ophthalmologist have become board certified including myself.
What does board certification mean and why is it important? The examination process assures that your doctor has the knowledge provide you with the best possible care. The process begins with an intensive written qualifying exam covering all aspects of eye care. Once you have passed by doing well in all seven sections (and many don’t), it is on to a grueling oral exam a year or so later.
I am proud to be part of this grand tradition. As with those doctors in 1916, we are committed to providing the highest quality medical and surgical eye care available.
Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery, blade-free LASIK, macular degeneration care, glaucoma care, dry eye treatments and more.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.