Last year, the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry said “no” to board certification, and now the state board is saying “no” to maintenance of competence (MOC). “It is this Board’s position—and we believe it to be the position of many other state licensing boards for optometry—that ‘ongoing clinical competence’ is the province of licensing boards,” the state board wrote in a June 3 memo to all North Carolina O.D.s. “These board certification programs therefore usurp the authority of the individual states to determine who is competent to practice optometry and what is necessary to remain ‘current’ and competent (MOC) in the profession.” The N.C. state board is also considering prohibiting O.D.s from advertising or even stating they have received board certification, and violators may face disciplinary action. The board also intends to require that any optometrist who publicly claims board certification to add a disclaimer that such certification is not recognized by the state board “so that members of the public do not perceive that such board certification denotes competence over and above that possessed by other licensees or that it denotes some area of specialization not possessed by other licensees.” Also, the board is exploring whether to seek injunctive relief to prevent implementation of any board certification program.
Donald Jarnagin, O.D., has been appointed as the interim dean of the Arizona College of Optometry at Midwestern University. Dr. Jarnagin follows Hector Santiago, O.D., Ph.D., who served as the founding dean of the college until his retirement on June 2.