Rand Paul Defends His National Board of Ophthalmology In Certification Flap

The Louisville Courier-Journal has a much-discussed story today about Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul and his lack of certification from a mainstream ophthalmology board.

As we reported last month, Paul is the founder and president of the National Board of Ophthalmology, a certifying board for eye doctors that has left little public record, and whose legitimacy seems unclear at best. He hasn’t been certified by the mainstream board since 2005. He is certified by the NBO.

The Courier-Journal points out today that Paul’s board “is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards.”The American Board of Medical Specialties does recognize the American Board of Ophthalmology. More than 19 in 20 American ophthalmologists are certified through ABO — but Paul isn’t. He was certified with the ABO from 1995 until 2005, when his certification lapsed, and was not renewed.

What did Paul say when the Courier-Journal approached him about the certification issue?

“I’m not going to go through all that right now,” Paul said while at the Great Eastern National Gun Day Show and JAG Military Show, in Louisville.

Asked when he would talk, Paul said: “Uh, you know, never. … What does this have to do with our election?”

The Courier-Journal also reports that Paul said shortly before his May 18 primary victory that he was certified by both ophthalmological boards.

A spokesman subsequently said that Paul misspoke because the question was unclear and he acknowledged his certification by the American Board had lapsed.

In a statement today, Paul insists that his lack of certification form the mainstream ABO — and his establishment of the NBO — is a principled stand in response to the ABO’s “decision to grandfather in the older ophthalmologists and not require them to recertify.”

“I thought this was hypocritical and unjust for the older ophthalmologists to exempt themselves from the recertification exam.”

Read TPMmuckraker’s full story here.