A Specialty Interest
I read with interest the letter by Ken Myers, Ph.D., O.D., in your March 2011 issue. Though it appears to be more an advertisement for his organization than an editorial, I do agree with much of Dr. Myers’ comments, with two notable exceptions.

First, I disagree with his opinion that optometry is not a specialty. Optometry is one of only two professions that are highly trained to deal exclusively with the diagnosis, treatment and management of the eye and vision. That an optometrist doesn’t obtain his or her depth of training after licensure in a residency, but en route to it, is a distinction without a difference. In the end, optometrists have training in the eye and vision that no other health care provider, except for ophthalmologists, have—and that makes us eye care specialists within the community of health care providers.

Second, while not mentioned by name, it appears Dr. Myers is referring to the American Board of Clinical Optometry (ABCO) as one of the two groups he says are now offering voluntary “board certification in optometry.” That is a mistaken understanding. ABCO offers certification, not “board certification.” ABCO certification creates the opportunity for participation in a robust, ABMS-like, Maintenance of ABCO Certification process. ABCO agrees with Dr. Myers that “board certification” is a label to be reserved for those with advanced training and competency that distinguishes the practitioner from others holding the same license, and that it is inappropriate and misleading for any optometric organization to deem practitioners “board certified” if those practitioners have not demonstrated that they have obtained training and competency beyond that which a licensed optometrist is already expected to have.

Craig S. Steinberg, O.D., J.D.
General Counsel
American Board of Clinical Optometry

Beware the Underwear
When I was fresh out of optometry school, I used to use the same underwear example that Steven M. Newman, O.D., C.N.S., quoted in the article, “More Than Meets the Eye” (March 2011).

It seemed to work well until the day I asked a contact lens patient, “Would you sleep in your underwear for a week at a time?” Much to my embarrassment, he replied, “I don’t wear underwear.”

I therefore do not recommend referring to patient’s undergarments; I suggest using socks instead.

Susan Baylus, O.D.
Chief of Contact Lens Services
New England Eye Institute