In this undignified hack-authored schlock piece, the Huff Ho suggests in its headline that Rand Paul is not a qualified Ophthamologist simply because he is not "Board Certified" by the American Board of Ophthalmology ("ABO").
Participation in the ABO's re-certification program is entirely voluntary and means nothing more than that the Board considers a particular practitioner meets its professional standards. From the ABO's own website comes its mission statement and disclaimer.
About the ABO
Founded in 1916, the American Board of Ophthalmology is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States. The ABO was the first American Board established to certify medical specialists and is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Medical Association.
The mission of the American Board of Ophthalmology is to serve the public by improving the quality of ophthalmic practice through a certification and maintenance of certification process that fosters excellence and encourages continual learning.
Board certification intends to provide assurance to the public and the medical profession that a physician has successfully completed an evaluation designed to assess the knowledge, experience and skills requisite to the delivery of high standards of patient care in ophthalmology.
Continued maintenance of Board certification is meant to assure that members of the profession continue their education, keep current in information and skills, and practice in a contemporary manner.
It is not the purpose of the Board to define the requirements for membership to hospital staffs or to gain special recognition or privileges for its diplomates in the practice of ophthalmology. Neither is its purpose to state who may or may not practice ophthalmology, nor to define the scope of ophthalmic practice. The Board does not seek to obtain special privileges for its diplomates over other qualified physicians. The certificate of the Board does not confer any academic degree, legal qualifications, privilege, or license to practice ophthalmology.
The libertarian-leaning Republican helped create a rival certification group more than a decade ago. He said the group has since recertified (sic) several hundred ophthalmologists, despite not being recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties – the governing group for two dozen medical specialty boards.
In the late 1990s, Paul was a driving force behind forming the National Board of Ophthalmology to protest the ABO's exemption policy.
"I don't think that some people should recertify and others shouldn't," he said. "And I don't choose to give my money to a private group that discriminates."
Paul has been certified through the National Board of Ophthalmology since 2005. He is listed as the group's president; his wife, Kelley, is listed as vice president; and his father-in-law is listed as secretary. Paul and his relatives receive no salaries from the organization, his campaign said.