Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium

Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium

August 21, 2018
1 min read

Note to women in ophthalmology: ‘It is your time’

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George B. Bartley

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — The year 2024 will be a key time for women in ophthalmology, according to George B. Bartley, MD, CEO of the American Board of Ophthalmology.

That is when, if trends continue, there will be an equal number of men and women undergoing ABO examinations to become board certified in ophthalmology, Bartley said at the Women in Ophthalmology 2018 Summer Symposium.

Furthermore, the proportion of women board membership in the ABO is increasing. A study at the Mayo Clinic looked at websites of 25 members of the American Board of Medical Specialties and found that for 12 specialty boards, the number of women to men was proportional to the specialty’s constituency; for six specialties, women made up proportionally less than the constituency; for seven specialty boards, including the ABO, women made up proportionally more than the constituency.

For ophthalmology, in 2016, of 25 directors, seven were women, Bartley said. “By plan, we have been whittling down the size of the ABO board, for various reasons, and now in 2019, of 16 directors, seven will be women. So the trend we think is in the right direction.”

Regarding examinees, in 2017, 44% of examinees were women, and the numbers are rising, expected to be even with those of men in 2024.

“It is your time” to change the ratio of women to men in the specialty, he said. “We’d be most grateful for those of you who would like to help, who want to be an examiner, if you want to write questions, if you want to get involved in the ABO. When those lines cross in 2024, ... I certainly want to see at least 50% of our board being women so that we appropriately represent our constituency.” – by Patricia Nale, ELS


Reference s :

Bartley GB. Women and the ABO. Presented at: Women in Ophthalmology 2018 Summer Symposium; Aug. 16-19; Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Walker LE, et al. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.08.007.


Disclosure: Bartley reports that the Mayo Clinic is reimbursed by the American Board of Ophthalmology for his time.