The CCSO Oral Exam is usually scheduled to coincide with other Educational Conferences as per the availability and mutual convenience of the CCSO Review Panel and the candidate. The objective of the Oral Exam is to evaluate the candidate on their knowledge base, skill set and professional competence. As such, while clinicians will be evaluated on patient care (and related research), non-clinicians will be evaluated on professional activities specific to their field of expertise.

As such, all candidates will be examined on the basis of published works, their credentials and any written work they have submitted to the Review Panel. Whenever possible, a candidate will be examined by the same Review Panel members that reviewed their submitted work.

Preparation for the Oral Exam:

We recognize that the prospect of sitting for the CCSO Oral Exam (or any oral exam) may be a little intimidating. As such, the CCSO Fellowship Review Committee conducting the Oral Exam include some of the Review Panel members who have reviewed your application. We encourage you to review all written works that were submitted for Fellowship points, and be prepared to discuss them.

  1. Please bring all of your case reports, published papers and any other supportive documentation along to the Oral Exam.
  2. Be prepared to answer questions about all submitted works, including all Case Reports that were accepted as well as all Case Reports that were evaluated and sent back for further consideration. Even if a specific Case Report was not accepted, be prepared to answer examiners’ questions about it.
  3. Candidates should exhibit a depth of knowledge about the chosen subject area for the Case Report. For example, if one of your Case Reports identified your patient as having nystagmus, explain how you asked the patient to look in their null point in order to get an accurate Goldmann tonometer reading. If a Case Report was submitted which involved the co-management of a patient who required glaucoma surgery, be prepared to answer additional questions on appropriate follow-up and your understanding of how various complications are managed (understanding the legislative scope of practice limitations of the jurisdiction you practice in).
  4. If published papers, posters, workshops or lectures were submitted for points, review the subject matter prior to the Oral Exam and be able to discuss the paper or presentation. Also be prepared to discuss whether recent optometric or medical research has changed the subject matter.
  5. If points were obtained through leadership, be able to describe your accomplishments and contributions to the profession of optometry and health care in general.
  6. If points were obtained through a residency, be prepared to answer questions on the specific residency area. A candidate who has completed a residency is expected to have a superior breadth and depth of knowledge as compared to a graduating student.
  7. Subsequent questions for clinician candidates during the Oral Exam may evolve from the answers given by the candidate in defense of any works or papers submitted for consideration. This will give the Fellowship Review Committee additional information on the candidate’s general knowledge of optometry and appropriate patient care.
  8. Non-clinician and non-optometrist candidates will be evaluated in the following areas:
    • Overall knowledge of their chosen field.
    • Inter-relation of their chosen field to the profession of optometry.
    • Additional research they are contemplating or beginning.
    • How achievement of the CCSO Fellowship or Specialty designation will assist them in future activities with the possibility of improving patient outcomes and enriching patient experiences.

Following the Conclusion of the Oral Examination

The CCSO Fellowship Review Panel will convene and determine collectively whether the candidate passed their Oral Exam. Candidates who fulfilled all Fellowship designation requirements become voting members of the CCSO, and are included in our Fellowship database. Unsuccessful candidates will receive a detailed list of areas to work on and/or a list of extra requirements to finish before they may sit for another Oral Exam.