(Last updated August 19, 2020)

Announcements including deadline changes, recently approved residency programs, new diplomates, policy changes, updated documents and calls for board/committee nominations will be posted on this page of the site.

Critical deadlines

  Approved residency programs and residents (updated weekly)

  Review the ABVO's Credentialing Reports



August 18, 2020
(emailed to all candidates, Supervising Diplomates and Members)

Dear ACVO Members, ABVO Practical Examination candidates, and ABVO Supervising Diplomates,
On behalf of the ABVO Examination Committee (i.e., "EC"), we would like to offer an update on plans for administration of the practical part of the ABVO Examination (i.e., "the Practical"). 
In-person administration of the Practical is tentatively planned for the week of December 14th, 2020 at North Carolina State University and September 30th, 2020 is the current deadline we imposed to decide whether in-person administration of the examination will take place. This deadline was made to allow sufficient time for candidates and EC members to consider travel arrangements, as well as to provide additional time to monitor the dynamic pandemic situation.
It is not possible to know with certainty whether NCSU will be able to admit visitors in December. Assuming the Practical can take place, candidates will be given two choices: either to travel to North Carolina and take the exam in December, or defer taking it until 2021; remember, there is no guarantee the situation will be any different next year.
Each candidate, and EC member, will need to decide for themselves, based on their own local travel restrictions, health risk and willingness to travel, whether the choice to travel to NC is appropriate for them. The ABVO cannot take responsibility for candidates or EC members who make the decision to attend the Practical, and both candidates and EC members will be required to sign a waiver releasing ABVO and its representatives of liability should they subsequently become infected or fall ill as a result of exposure to COVID 19.
If the Practical is to take place, the ABVO and EC will ensure that protocols are put in place that allow the examination to be conducted in as safe a manner as possible, in order to protect the examination candidates, the EC and NCSU staff (e.g., social distancing, the wearing of masks, temperature taking). If at any time a candidate registered for the Practical, or an EC member, is uncomfortable with the protocols that are established, they have the right to withdraw without penalty. Regardless of the precautions taken by the ABVO and EC, there will  be some inherent risk associated with this process, but again, neither the ABVO nor the EC can accept responsibility for an individual candidate's decision to take the Practical in-person.
If we cannot offer the practical in-person in December, the next opportunity will be the summer of 2021.  Given the current pandemic, alternatives to an in-person practical have been considered at length by the EC, however none have been deemed feasible. Any questions or ideas regarding a change to the way the ABVO Certification exam is conducted are now best directed towards the ABVO board.

Best regards,
Exam Committee


July 2, 2020

Contratulations to Dr. Ralph Hamor, who was elected as the new ABVO committee member. We thank Dr. Amy Rankin also for agreeing to support and work with the ABVO.

June 1, 2020

The ABVO thanks two ABVO Diplomates, Drs. Ralph Hamor and Amy Rankin, for their willingness to serve. Please review their brief biography as related to ACVO & ABVO involvement, and their thoughts for working with the ABVO in person. The ABVO is grateful for their past dedication and ask that ABVO Diplomates vote via the online ballot that will be emailed to all Diplomates today. Several reminders will be sent out before the end of the month before the vote closes. The new ABVO member will be announced in early July. ___________________________________________________________________________________

June 1, 2020
(also emailed to all candidates same day)

To 2020 Exam Candidates:  Please note that there was an error regarding the length of the Image Recognition (IR) portion of the 2020 ABVO Exam in a recent Exam Committee communication.  The correct length for the three parts of the IR are 120 minutes, 150 minutes and 150 minutes, as indicated in the first screen shot below from one recent Exam Committee communication.  Please disregard the incorrect information provided in a separate correspondence from a second recent Exam Committee communication, which incorrectly states the length as 120, 120 and 150 minutes.  Apologies for any confusion.

EC screenshot


May 31, 2020
(also emailed to all candidates on 29th)

Dear 2020 ABVO Exam Candidates,

Having reached the May 31, 2020 deadline for committing to offer the Image Recognition (IR) and Multiple Choice (MC) portions of the exam remotely, the Exam Committee has decided to proceed with the plan for remote administration of the IR on Monday July 27, 2020 and the MC on Tuesday July 28, 2020.  The tentative plan for in-person administration of the Practical portions of the exam, the Intraocular (IO) and Extraocular (EO) surgeries, remains the week of December 14, 2020 at North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Raleigh, NC.

Given the unique nature of the remote examination administration process, results of the IR and MC portions of the exam could take 4-6 weeks to be reported.  All candidates who have taken the IR or MC will receive their results at the same time.   Candidates who need to pass only the IR and/or MC portion(s) of the exam to achieve ACVO Diplomate status and successfully pass the remaining portion(s) of the exam in July will receive Diplomate status upon notification of their results.  Candidates who need to pass any of the Practical portions (IO or EO surgeries) in addition to the IR and/or MC will receive their results from the IR and MC portions, but will not receive Diplomate status until after passing the remaining Practical portion(s) of the exam.

Please remember that given the potential for changes in government travel restrictions during these dynamic and uncertain times, these plans may change.  The Exam Committee will communicate any changes to all candidates in as timely a manner as possible.  Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented situation.

Daniel Binder and Mary Lassaline (ABVO Exam Committee Chair and Co-Chair)


May 1, 2020

Dear ACVO Diplomates,
Nominations are sought for one position on the American Board of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ABVO) that will become open upon the completion of Dr. Ellison Bentley's term, fall 2020. Continuing ABVO members (and their term completion dates) include, (Chairperson - Dr. Robert Munger (2021),  Dr. Susan Nelms (2022), Dr. Steven Hollingsworth (2023) and Mr. Kyle Denomme (Public Member, 2023). ABVO Member terms are for four years, and persons may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
Any ACVO Diplomate may nominate an ACVO Diplomate to serve on the ABVO; diplomates may also self-nominate.  However, it is strongly recommended that ACVO Diplomates seeking to become a member of the ABVO have served on at least one of the Credentials, Residency, Examination, or Maintenance of Certification Committees. If elected, all board members must also be willing to serve at least one term as Chair.

Although the term of office does not officially begin until immediately after the fall 2020 meeting, the individual elected is requested to attend the fall 2020 ABVO Meeting (held in conjunction with the ACVO annual conference) in a non-voting “apprentice” capacity. 
If you are seeking to make a nomination of another ACVO Diplomate please contact that individual first to be certain they are willing to serve. If they accept, forward the name(s) and acceptance to the ABVO office via email. Staff will reach out to the nominee to explain the obligation and/or to help answer any questions. At that time the below information will be requested.

Nominees are required to provide a photograph, concise (bullet-point) biography emphasizing their past ACVO/ABVO experience, and a brief statement (200 words or less) indicating their reasons for seeking to serve on the Board. Complete nominations must be received electronically by the ABVO office no later than midnight (Mountain Time), May 31, 2020 (please submit them by the 25th to allow adequate time to post and format). The election will take place electronically during the month of June, 2020, and results will be posted on the ABVO website by July 1, 2020. 
The ABVO encourages all ACVO Diplomates to take part in the election process. If you have questions about the nomination or election process you are encouraged to contact either the ABVO/ACVO office or any of the current ABVO Members.
The American Board of Veterinary Ophthalmology
Dr. Robert Munger (Chair)
Dr. Ellison Bentley
Dr. Susan Nelms
Dr. Steven Hollingsworth
Mr. Kyle Denomme (Public Member)


April 27, 2020

Dear ABVO Supervising Diplomates,
The ABVO Exam Committee is preparing instructions for candidates for the Image Recognition (IR) and Multiple Choice (MC) portion of the 2020 ABVO exam, which will be offered remotely on 27 July (IR) and 28 July (MC).  These instructions will be sent to all registered candidates shortly after the May 15th registration deadline.   
Instructions will include:

  1. requirements for your laptop, which will be used to take both IR and MC;
  2. instructions for registering with an online identification system, which will be used to identify you as the candidate at examination time;
  3. instructions for signing on to the exam administration system on the day of the exam;
  4. a list of behaviors which are to be avoided during the exam to prevent being flagged as suspicious for cheating;
  5. instructions for taking a mock exam for each part, MC and IR, to give you some familiarity with the exam environment.

We will not be using an in-person proctor and you do not need to identify an ACVO diplomate for this purpose.
If after consideration of the specifics of the exam administration process you would prefer to take the exam in 2021 instead of this year, please notify the ABVO Exam Committee chairs ( and ABVO Office (   If you withdraw your registration for the 2020 Exam by 24 July, the Friday before the IR, your registration fee will be refunded in its entirety, and this year will not count in your four-year Credentials eligibility window  (i.e., if this is your first Credentials application, your four-year Credentials clock will start again when you submit Credentials in 2021; if you are within an already started four-year window the clock will stop until 2021). 
Our goal is to offer the practical portions of the certification exam in person during the week of December 14th at the North Carolina Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Raleigh, NC.  Specifics about this will be communicated in the fall.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation.  Please feel free to contact the exam committee chairs at with questions or concerns.
Daniel Binder (ABVO Exam Committee Chair)
Mary Lassaline (ABVO Exam Committee Co-Chair)


April 17, 2020

With much thought and planning on the part of the ABVO Exam Committee and Board, it’s been decided that holding the ABVO Certification Exam in person, as originally scheduled for July 27-31 in Raleigh NC, is not a viable option given the current global situation, and thus Option 1 is no longer available. 

The current plan, Option 2, is to hold the Image Recognition (IR) and Multiple Choice (MC) portions of the Exam remotely, with the IR given Monday July 27, 2020, and the MC given Tuesday July 28, 2020.   Under Option 2, the Practical portion of the Exam will be offered in person during the week of December 14, 2020 at North Carolina State University.  More detail will be provided within the next two weeks regarding the remote administration of the IR and MC portions of the Exam. 

Should Option 2 become non-viable necessitating a move to Option 3, offering all parts of the exam in-person in December 2020,that decision will be made on or before May 31, 2020 as described in the April 1 announcement.  Assuming Option 2 stands, and the IR and MC portions of the Exam are offered remotely July 27-28, a deadline of October 15th, 2020 has been established to confirm the feasibility of offering the Practical portion of the exam on site at NCSU during the week of December 14, 2020, although this decision may be made earlier. 

As a reminder, any candidate who has registered for any part of the Exam by the May 15, 2020 registration deadline has the option to cancel their registration for the 2020 Exam for a full refund, and take the Exam at a later date without penalty, both financially and with respect to the credentialing timeline.  That is, in making a choice to withdraw from the 2020 Exam, a candidate’s 2020 credentials application would NOT count toward the maximum of four years to successfully complete all portions of the exam before all portions must be retaken.   This is a courtesy provided for this year only, given the current situation.

We will continue to communicate regularly with candidates, mentors and the ACVO membership in an effort to be as transparent as possible as we navigate through this unprecedented situation.  Please recognize that all decisions being made are subject to change given the uncertainty of our environment at this time.   Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

Dan Binder (Exam Chair)
Mary Lassaline (Exam Co-Chair)


April 15, 2020

Special thanks to Dr. Ellison Bentley for her dedication and service to the ABVO as a member and Chairperson. During the ABVO meeting today, Dr. Robert (Bob) Munger was elected to serve as the new ABVO Chair, his term began today. Thank you to both for your selfless service!


April 1, 2020
(emailed directly to candidates, ACVO list serve, all ACVO members and Diplomate non-members today)

The Residency committee has met and determined the following in regards to residency requirements.

  1. Surgical and case minimums will be suspended for residency programs ending in 2021
  2. Surgical and case minimums will be revisited for subsequent resident classes at the annual ACVO meeting based on the data provided by the 6 month evaluations.
  3. Clinical week minimums (104 weeks total over a program) will be continued and programs are advised to monitor their resident’s clinic weeks to ensure these are met if the hospital has been closed or the resident ill for COVID 19.
  1. If hospital closure and/or resident illness adversely impact the ability of the program to adjust the schedule to ensure minimum clinical weeks are met, the ABVO Residency Committee will consider the impact of the deficiency on a case-by-case basis. It is possible that such a deficiency may require extension of the residency

With this in mind, please continue to log all surgeries and case numbers on your google sheet as you have previously. The data will be crucial in determining the impact of the COVID 19 shutdown on residency productivity.

The committee wants to stay true to our mission of protecting the public by ensuring proper training of all residents. We want to support you all and are happy to discuss contingencies and concerns as they arise.

Dr. Kate Myrna (ABVO Residency Committee Chair)


April 1, 2020
(emailed directly to candidates, ACVO list serve, all ACVO members and Diplomate non-members today)

Please check your spam filters and set and emails as NOT spam to receive future notices.

The Examination Committee has released its preliminary plan for ABVO exams this fall. Please review this document and email the committee with any questions ( ).


March 18, 2020 (emailed to all exam candidates)

ABVO 2020 Exam Candidates:

In an effort to answer some questions that have been presented to the exam committee, I wanted to disseminate some information to you all.  Remember, we will be communicating with all of you frequently with any updates/changes that are decided as we progress closer to the exam date:

1. Any candidate intending to take the ABVO certification exam this summer must register by the established deadline of May 15th.

2. If the exam is cancelled at any point, all candidates will receive a full refund.

3. If an alternative strategy for exam administration is implemented (change of date, location, etc.) which precludes a candidate from being able to take the exam or portion of the exam, a correlating refund will be given.

4. If a candidate is unable to attend the exam due to travel restrictions, a full refund will be given.

5. While it is not the purvey of the exam committee to make modifications to the credentialing/residency requirements necessary to qualify for the exam, and we are confident that the residency/credentialing committee is investigating solutions for potential issues,  IF it is determined that a candidate does not meet requirements for the exam due to a COVID-related issue, a full refund will be given.  

Thank you for your understanding. Clearly our situation is changing daily and we are doing our best to adapt and prepare solutions for all possible situations.

Dr. Daniel Binder and Dr. Mary Lassaline (ABVO Exam Chair and Co-Chair)


March 18, 2020 (emailed to all residents and SDs)

From the Residency Committee,

During this time of uncertainty, we are reaching out to assure you that we are considering how to handle these pandemic related challenges as it relates to the successful completion of your residency. If minimum surgery numbers or minimum clinics weeks (104 over the course of the program) will not be met due to virus-related closures in order to sit 2020 boards, please contact with a proposed plan as soon as you can. We will remain flexible and reasonable in this unprecedented situation. 

In regards to residency moving forward, we will revisit minimum case and surgery numbers in the fall meeting and come up with adjustments as necessary. If you believe that your program will no longer meet minimums, please supply a contingency plan by November 15, 2020.  Currently the resident training program requires 1,500 dogs, 150 cats, 50 horses, and 35 individual cases of at least 3 “additional species” as well as surgery requirements as outlined below. Please take advantage of cadaver surgeries as well when appropriate. 
a.    25 lens extractions:
i.     25 lens extractions
ii.    5 *intracapsular or *extracapsular lens extractions may count towards the required 25 lens extractions.

b.     15 anterior segment:
i.     Penetrating keratoplasty, corneoconjunctival transposition, lamellar keratectomy, corneal laceration repair, corneal graft, conjunctival flap/graft, *suprachoroidal CsA implant placement, etc.
ii.     Diamond burr, grid keratotomy, anterior stromal puncture, and debridement techniques may not be counted toward minimum anterior segment surgical procedures.

c.      15 adnexal:
i.   Entropion, ectropion or eyelid laceration repair, eyelid/conjunctival mass removal, eyelid reconstruction, etc.

d.     5 orbit and globe:
i.     Orbitotomy, enucleation, evisceration, exenteration, etc.

e.      5 nasolacrimal:
i.     *Parotid duct transposition, third eyelid gland replacement, nasolacrimal duct reconstruction

f.      5 vision-sparing glaucoma techniques:
i.     *Cycloablation, *shunt placement, or *combination techniques

Kate Myrna and Kevin Fritz
Co-chairs of Residency Committee 


March 10, 2020

Dear ABVO Examination Candidates,

We are all very concerned about the global health and economic risks associated with COVID-19, and our thoughts are with those directly affected by this disease.  

At the moment, with the ABVO Exam scheduled over four months out, 27-31 July 2020 in Raleigh NC, we are hopeful that the global health risk will be significantly decreased by that time, however we are, as you, watching events as they unfold and change by the day.  At this point, state, national and international travel restrictions cannot by known with certainty, particularly for a time period four months from now, and thus our ability to hold the ABVO Exam may not be entirely up to us even if we intend to run it as scheduled, but rather to government authorities who may restrict travel.  It is important to keep in mind that the ABVO Exam involves a relatively small group of people, less than 100, but again, travel restrictions in place in July cannot be known at this time. 

For those of you thinking about travel plans for July, the safest path may be to wait to purchase tickets, or, if you desire to purchase them now, ensure that you have the ability to cancel or at least rebook for other dates if the Exam is postponed or cancelled.  

We are sorry we don't have more certain information at this time. We are engaging in ongoing discussions to formulate contingency plans in the event we are unable to hold the Exam as scheduled.  We will update you as soon as we have any  more information, and at least monthly.

With kind regards,

Dan Binder and Mary Lassaline
ABVO Exam Chairs


January 15, 2020

Applicaiton and payment forms for the 2020 credentials application cycle closed at midnight, January 15th. Those who applied will receive an email notification, sent to the email currently on file in the ABVO portal, from the ABVO office within five business days of close.


December 2 , 2019

Residency Training Program application and related documents were updated and are provided on the Residency Information page.


November 15, 2019

The 2020 Credentials Certifying Examination Application form, and separate payment form, are now available for submission. The application form and payment are both due by January 15th. If any payment for documentation is missing by this date, candidates may not sit for exams in 2020. Please read this email sent this date for full instructions.


October 18, 2019

Summary of email notification to the diplomates:

2019 Annual Credentialing Report and Summary released and emailed to all Diplomates. Remember the ABVO will have a meeting immediately following the ACVO Annual Meeting of the Members on November 8, 2019.

ABVO's real-time list of current residents and residency programs was updated. This will update in real-time as new residents are input into the portal system.


September 10, 2019

On behalf of the ABVO Exam Committee:

Upon careful consideration of the logistics of tracking publications to be included in the "reading list" for the ABVO Exam, it has been decided that only manuscripts in print (i.e., assigned to an issue) within the seven year window from 2013 through 2019 will be included as target material in the 2020 ABVO Exam.  E-pubs that are not yet in print (i.e., are not yet assigned to an issue) will not be included.  This is in direct conflict with an email that went out last month, but is consistent with the definition of "target material" used in the past.  Please disregard last month's email that indicated that epubs, rather than manuscripts assigned to an issue, would be included.  This was in error.  Apologies for any inconvenience.

Please do not hesitate to contact Exam Chair at with any questions.


August 22, 2019

IMPORTANT! Before notifying the ABVO that you will no longer be a Supervising Diplomate (SD) or External Participant (EP) for a particular resident or program, you must submit the “Certifying Examination Supervising Diplomate Form" for credentials.  This form is available when signed in to your ABVO portal, located directly under the ‘Supervising Diplomate Forms’ tab. If this form is not submitted through the portal prior to requesting the change, you will lose all access to residency-related forms on the portal and will not be able to easily complete these for residents in the future. When you are no longer a SD or EP, you must complete this above named certifying exam form in order for the resident to pass credentials in the future. Once the exam SD form is completed, then please submit the existing SD/EP change form as has been the case since 2017. It is very important to complete both steps.


August 20, 2019

The 2020 ABVO Certifying Examination will be held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC from July 27-31, 2020.  The Image Recognition portion will be held on Monday July 27, the Written/Multiple Choice portion on Tuesday July 28, and the Practical portions from Tuesday July 28 through Friday July 31, depending upon the number of candidates who register to take the practical.  Please mark your calendars.  More information about registration and updated instructions will be forthcoming. 


August 6, 2019

Announcing new diplomates of the ABVO


July 5, 2019

Notification for all supervising diplomates

The RTP form has been significantly reorganized and as was discussed at the ABVO  Fall meeting, the definition of Associate Mentor has been eliminated. As the ABVO now allows and encourages “collaborative programs” as needed, 2 Supervising Diplomates are also now required for each resident in training. The reorganized document will require a thorough read through prior to submitting any new RTPs going forward.

Changes to residency programs, including programs placed on probation, are now  in a separate document, which can also be found in the residency section of the  ABVO website. If you have mentors leaving your program, please review this document carefully. Also, external participants now need to submit a Supervising Diplomate form in order to supervise residents (including locums).

Some minor changes were made to surgical minimums and medical record numbers are now only required for the minimum number of the required species examinations. Please see the website for further details.

The Residency Committee continues to try and make this as simple and straightforward as possible and we appreciate your patience as we do so.


July 5, 2019

New Board Member Announcement
The ABVO extends its appreciation to the 2019 board candidates, for agreeing to run for office and thus continue to support the ABVO and its goals. All three of these Diplomates have demonstrated outstanding service to the ACVO and ABVO over the years. Thank you Drs. Steven Hollingsworth, Amy Rankin and Dr. Tammy Michau! More than half of the Diplomates voted in the election, and Dr. Hollingsworth was elected as the ABVO's next board member, his term begins in fall 2019. We appreciate all of you who took the time to vote.


June 15, 2019

The ACVO announced earlier this year its new policy to reimburse residents for up to $500 for expenses related to attending the Magrane Basic Science Course or the ACVO Vision for Animals Phaco course. Read guidelines for resident qualifications and the reimbursement submission process.